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Full text of "Travels and adventures of Little Baron Trump : and his wonderful dog Bulger"

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BOSTON 1890 





Copyright, 1889 , 















Brief Account of the Little Baron’s Famous Ancestor, 

the u Armless Knight,” 7 


Something about the Elder Baron, the Little Baron’s 
Father — How the Elder Baron made the Ascent of 
the Mountains of the Moon — Wonderful Escape of 
the Elder Baron and Baroness from the Impenetra- 
ble Fog, 12 


Birth of Bulger and the Little Baron in the Land of 
the Melodious Sneezers — How the Little Baron was 
Rescued from Death by His Faithful Bulger — The 
Elder Baron’s Return to Europe — His Trouble with 
the Little BaroiPs Tutors, 19 


How the Elder Baron and Baroness, the Household Ser- 
vants, and the Horses and Cattle, of the Baronial 
Estates, all lost Flesh in consequence of the Elder 
Baron’s Worrying about the Investment of the Little 
Baron’s Fortune — How the Little Baron Solved the 
Problem — How the Elder Baron Objected to the 
Little Baron’s setting out on His Travels— "Steps 
taken by the Little Baron to Overcome this Opposi- 
tion, - 30 


The Little Baron’s First Voyage to Southern Seas, 
with a Brief Account of how He Triumphed over 
the Terrors of Port jNo Man’s Port and Rescued his 


Vessel from the Terrible Calm— His and Bulger’s 
Wonderful Experience with that Strange Folk, the 
Wind Eaters — Their Attempt to Slay Him ; and, Bul- 
ger’s timely Arrival, 39 


The Elder Baron’s Gift of a Copy of a Roman News- 
paper — The Strange Story it contained — How the 
Little Baron, upon reading it, was moved to set sail 
in Search of the Sculptors’ Isle — His Sojourn in the 
Land of the Slow Movers — Its Effect upon Little 
Baron — His narrow escape from becoming a Slow 
Mover Himself. 103 


Journey of Bulger and the Little Baron to Central 
Asia — Bene-aga, the Blind Guide — Their Passage 
through the Great Gloomy Forest and their Perilous 
Flight down the Rocky Steps of Boga-Drappa — 
Adventures among the Umi--Lobas or Man Hoppers, 
in the Dominion of King Ga-roo, .... 133 


Visit of the Little Baron to Neptune’s Caldron — How 
a Fearful Storm drove them on the Coast of China — 

His and Bulger’s Adventures in the Kingdom of the 
Sun, including an account of Bulger’s Arrest and 
Trial — Although defended by the Little Baron, he 
is sentenced to Death, ------ 210 


How the Little Baron again left Home contrary to 
Bulger’s Advice — Some Account of the Awful Storm 
which cast them on the Island of Go-gu-lah — Adven- 
tures among the Roundbodies who inhabited it — Mar- 
riage of the Little Baron to Princess Rola-Bola 
Utterly Incredible Manner in which the Little Baron 
and Bulger made their Escape from the Domain of 
King Bo-goo-goo, - - 




* AND 



Short account of one of the little Baron’s most celebrated ancestors, 
called “ The Armless Knight.” His wonderful strength and bravery. 
How he followed Cceur de Lion to the Orient. His brilliant exploits 
on the battle-field, under the walls of Joppa. His marriage in the 
presence of Saladin and Coeur de Lion. 

I come from one of the most 
ancient and honorable families of 
North Germany — famous for its valor 
and love of adventure. 

One of my ancestors, when just 
entering the twenties heard at his 
father’s table one morning, that Eng- 
land’s great King Coeur de Lion was 
about to lead an army against the infi- 

“ Gracious parent,” cried the young 
man starting up from his seat, his 
eyes on fire, his cheeks ablaze, “ May 
I join the Crusaders and nid in the 
destruction of the enemies of our 
holy religion ? ” “ Alas, poor boy ! ” 
replied his father, casting a pitying 
glance at the youth, who, through 
some strange freak of nature had 
been born armless, “thou wert not intended for ter- 
rible conflicts such as await our cousin Coeur de Lion. Thou 



lackest every means of weilding the battle sword, of couching 
the lance. ’Twould be murder to set thy defenceless body before 
the uplifted cimeter of the merciless Moslem ! My dear son, 
banish such thoughts from thy mind and turn thee to poesy 
and philosophy, thou shalt add new lustre to our family name 
by thy learning .’ 7 “ Kay gracious parent, hear me ! ” urged the 
youth with eloquent eye: “true, nature has denied me arms, 
but she has not been so cruel as might be supposed for, as com- 
pensation, she has given a giant’s strength to my lower limbs. 
Dost not remember how last month, I slew a wild boar with one 
blow from the heel of my hunting-boot ? ” “I do,” answered 
the grim old Baron with a smile, “but — ” “Pardon my inter- 
ruption noble father” came from the young man, “I shall go 
into battle doubly armed, for to each stirrup shall I affiix a 
sword and woe betide the Mussulman who dares meet me on 
the battle-field.” 

“ Go then my son ! ” cried the old Baron as the tears trickled 
down his battle-scarred cheeks, “ go, join our royal cousin Coeur 
de Lion and if thou, armless, canst withstand the fury of the 
infidel, another glory will be added to the name of Trump, and in 
this * ancestral hall shall hang a portrait of the 4 Armless 
Knight,’ upon which for all time the lovers of valiant deeds 
shall rest their wondering eyes.” 

The joy of my young ancestor knew no bounds. 

Scarcely staying to make needful preparations for his jour- 
ney, with a handful of trusty retainers, he rode from the castle 
yard amid the plaudits of thousands of fair women who had 
gathered from the neighboring city to wish God speed to the 
44 Armless Knight.” 

’Twas not until the famous battle under the walls of Joppa 
that my ancestor had an opportunity to give an exhibition of 
his bravery, his extraordinary strength, and the resistless fury 
of his onslaughts. 

Not one, not five, not ten common soldiers dared face the 
“Armless Knight.” 

Whole squadrons recoiled in terror before this mysterious 
avenger of the wrongs of Christendom, who, without hands, 



struck down the Moslem warriors, as the grain falls before the 

Again and again, Saladin sent the flower of his men against 
the “Armless Knight,” whose strength and valor had already 
made his name a terror to the superstitious soldiery. Little 
realizing the terrible; fate awaiting him, the Moslem warrior 
would rush upon my ancestor with uplifted cimeter, when with 
one blow of his sword-armed stirrup the “Armless Knight” 
would cleave the breast of his foeman’s horse, and then trample 
the infidel to death as he rolled upon the ground. 

It was now high noon. 

Upon an eminence, Saladin, watching the tide of battle, saw 
with anxious eye the appalling slaughter of the very flower of 
his army. 

Already the name, rank, and nationality of my young ancestor 
had been made known to the Moslem leader. 

“La, il la ! Mahomed ul Becullah !” he cried, stroking his beard. 
“ Blessed is the man who can call that Christian warrior his son ! 
How many of the Prophet’s children has he slain this day ? ” 

“ Six hundred and fifty-nine ! ” was the answer given. 

“ Six hundred and fifty-nine,” echoed Saladin, “ and it is but 
noonday !” When nightfall came the number had been in- 
creased to one thousand and seven. 

Upon hearing of the terrible day’s work of the “Armless 
Knight,” Saladin’s great heart bled, and yet he could not with- 
hold his admiration for such wondrous skill and bravery. 

“Go!” cried the magnanimous infidel Chieftain, “go, take 
from my household that beauteous slave Koliilat, her with orbs 
of lustrous black, the very blossom of grace and flower of 
queenly beauty. Lead her to the “Armless Knight,” with 
royal greeting from Saladin; his valor makes him my brother, 
Giaour though he be ! Away !” 

When the beautiful Kohilat was led into the presence of 
my young ancestor, and the announcement made to him that 
Saladin had sent her as a present to him, the “Armless Knight,” 
with royal greeting as a token of his respect for one so young, 
and yet so valiant, the first thought of the Christian youth 
was to wave her indignantly from his presence. 



At that moment, however, Kohilat raised her large and lus- 
trous eyes, and fixed them full upon the young man’s face. 

It was more than human heart could stand. 

Motioning her retinue to leave his tent, he advanced to her 
side, with respectful mien, and said: 

“ Kohilat, a strange fate has sent thee to me. The messen- 
ger of the great Saladin imparts to me knowledge of thy good- 
ness, thy amiability, and thy gifted mind, which holds within 
its store most delightful imagery and useful knowledge as well. 
He informs me that thou standest in the direct line of descent 
from that famed princess of your land, Scheherezada, who for 
a thousand and one nights held the thoughts of the Sultan 
of the Indies so enthralled by the play of her brilliant fancy, 
as to turn him aside from his terrible project of vengeance. 
Dost think, Kohilat, that thou canst forget thy false god and 
love only the true one ?” 

“ Ay, my lord,” murmured the gentle Kohilat, “ if such be my 
lord’s pleasure.” 

A smile spread over the handsome face of my young ances- 
tor. He would fain have met with more resistance in con- 
verting the fair infidel to the true faith, but though he searched 
that beautiful face long and closely for any sign of subtility, 
yet saw he none. 

“ ? Tis well, Kohilat.” he continued, “and now answer me, and 
speak from thy heart. Art thou willing to become my wife, 
according to the rites of the Christian church and the laws of 
my native land?” 

Again the beautiful Kohilat replied : 

“Ay, my lord; if such be thy pleasure.” 

The following day a truce was proclaimed, and in the presence 
of the two great leaders of the opposing armies, Coeur de Lion 
and Saladin, both surrounded by the most glorious retinue, my 
young ancestor and the princess Kohilat were joined together 
as man and wife by the royal confessor, the “Armless Knight” 
towering above the surrounding multitude in his glittering 
coat of mail like a column of burnished silver. When he 
advanced to meet his dark-eyed bride, with the marriage ring 



held between his lips, a mighty shout went up from both armies. 

Saladin stroked his beard. Coeur de Lion made the sign of 
the cross. In a short half hour the leaders had returned to 
their camps, and war had resumed its awful work of destruction. 

To this union of my renowned ancestor, the “Armless 
Knight/’ with the Moslem maid, I attribute my possession of 
an almost Oriental exuberance of fancy. 





The elder Baron uncertain as to the exact locality of my birth. Reasons 
why will be given later. My parents traveling in Africa at this time. 
The elder Baron’s remarkable ascent of the Mountains of the Moon. 
Miraculous escape from the impenetrable fog. How accomplished. 
In the land of the Melodious Sneezers. All that happened there. 
How the King of the Melodious Sneezers conducted my parents in 
great honor to his palace, and liOw they were treated by him. 

While it lies within my 
power to gratify the curios- 
ity of my readers as to what 
part of the world it was in 
which I first saw darkness — 
for I was born in the night — 
yet, as to the nature of the 
immediate spot on which I 
was born, unfortunately I am 
able to do more than repeat 
my father’s words when ques- 
tioned as to this point. 

“ My son, if I were on my 
death-bed I could only say 
that thou wert either born in 
the centre in a great lake, on 
an island, upon a peninsular 


or on the top of a very high mountain, as I have often ex- 
plained to thee.” 

Let it suffice, then, gentle reader, for the present, for me to 
inform you that at the time of my birth, my parents were 
traveling in Africa ; that my father had just successfully 
accomplished one of the most wonderful feats in mountain 
climbing, namely, the ascent of the loftiest peak of the Mount- 
ains of the Moon ; that his guides had abandoned him upon his 
reaching a particularly dangerous spot in the ascent ; but that 
he had pushed forward without them, and reached the summit 
after several days of terrible privation, suffering both hunger 



and thirst, — it being a peculiarity of the atmosphere after pass- 
ing a certain height that the muscles of the face and throat 
became paralyzed and the unfortunate traveler either perishes 
from, hunger or thirst while in the very presence of delicious 
fruit and cool, limpid water. 

Upon rejoining my mother, who had accompanied him as 
far up the mountain side as the best-trained and most sure- 
footed mules could find a foot-hold, they proceeded to make 
their way, as they supposed, to the valley from \Y^ich they had 
first set out. 

An inpenetrable fog now shut them in and they soon found 
themselves hopelessly and helplessly wandering about. 

On the morning of the third day the fog had even increased 
in thickness, closing around them like a pall, almost shutting 
out the light of day. 

While groping about my father had come into contact with 
the two beasts of burden which had served him in the easier 
parts of the ascent. They were quietly and unconcernedly 
browsing upon the sweet and tender shrubs which grew on the 
mountain side. 

Suddenly an idea came to my father. It was born of that 
desperation which makes a man think long and hard before 
lying down to die. 

It was thus he reasoned : If these animals are permitted to 
eat their fill whenever their appetites demand, they will be 
quite willing to stay where they are, especially when they find 
themselves surrounded by such excellent pastures, and, in 
addition thereto, quite relieved from all toil. Let them, how- 
ever, feel the pangs of hunger, or better yet, starvation’s tooth 
at their vitals and their thoughts will at once revert to their 
homes, their masters, their feeding-troughs and they will lose 
no time in setting out for the village where they belong. With 
the energy of despair, my father hurriedly bound a piece 
of canvass over their mouths so that they could neither graze 
nor drink and awaited the results of his experiment, with bated 
breath, for the tears and groans of my poor mother, whose 
strength was fast ebbing away, smote him to the very soul. 



After a few hours the animals rose to their feet and became 
very restive, and in another hour their hunger had so increased 
that they were making frantic efforts to feed, as my father could 
easily tell from the jerking of the line which he had been care- 
ful to attach to their headstalls. 

After the fourth hour there was a long silence, during which 
the animals seemed to be deliberating as to what course they 
should pursue. 

The fifth hour came. 

My mother had sunk to rest, weak and weary, in my father’s 
arms. Suddenly there was a tightening of the guiding lines. 
Gently my father aroused his sleeping mate, whispering a 
few words of comfort. 

Again the lines tightened. 

My parents were now on their feet, peering into the depths 
of the impenetrable fog which shrouded them about and made 
them even invisible to each other. 

Hist ! the animals move again ! with a sudden impulse, as 
if their minds had at last solved the problem which had been 
bewildering them for several hours, the beasts, with violent 
snortings turned from the spot, pushing through the shrubbery 
and causing my parents to face quite about. 

Evidently there was a complete accord between the conclu- 
sions reached by their intelligence or instinct, for not once did 
they pull apart or come to a halt, except when restrained by 
my father. And thus my dear parents were saved ! All that 
day and part of the next did they pursue their dreary way. 
The fog at last lifted, and it was at once apparent to my father 
that, although the animals were guiding them towards human 
habitations, yet it was not the land he had quitted upon start- 
ing out upon the journey to the mountain peak. The path 
now became so plainly visible that my father removed the 
improvised muzzles from the two animals and allowed them to 
satisfy their hunger, which they proceeded to do with the 
keenest relish. So worn out was my mother that she sank 
helpless to the ground. Refreshing her with a draught of 
spring- water and the juice of some wild grapes, my father 



hastily prepared a bed of soft foliage, upon which they were 
both glad to throw themselves after their long and weary tramp. 

They had soon fallen into a deep and most delightful sleep. 
How long they lay on their leafy bed, wrapt in their refreshing 
slumber, they knew not. 

It certainly was for many a long hour ; for when they awoke, 
hunger was gnawing at their stomachs. Fain would they have 
at once proceeded to gather fruit, had not their ears been 
suddenly saluted with most extraordinary noises,, " They rubbed 
their eyes and looked about and at each other, deeming them- 
selves the sport of some merry jack-a-dreamer. 

But, no ; they were wide awake and in full possession of their 
senses. Again the strange sounds are heard and this time they 
are nearer and clearer. 

There is a rise and a fall, a swelling out and then a dying 

The sounds are jerky and snappy like and there is a singular 
music in them. 

Nearer and still nearer they come. Louder and still louder 
they grow. “ Wild beasts ? ” whispered my mother half inquir- 

“Nay!” falls from my father’s lips. “Not unless human 
beings may be so wild as to merit the name of beasts.” 

“ Hark again ! ” murmured my mother. 

There was no mistaking the sounds any longer, for, like a 
chorus of many voices, shrill and piping, deep and grumbling, 
soft and musical, harsh and gutteral, yet all in a sort of rude 
and wild harmony, mingling in one mighty strain, now low and 
scarcely audible and now breaking out with a fierce and seem- 
ingly threatening vigor, the singers, chanters, howlers or what 
they might be, rushed into the valley below us in a wild and yet 
half regulated disorder. 

They were human beings in savage garb, with painted faces 
and clubs swung lightly across their shoulders. Whether 
pausing or advancing they still kept up their wild and mysteri- 
ous chant, choppy, jerky and snappy for all the world like a 
thousand people who had just drawn plentifully from a thous- 
and snuff boxes. 



“ Save me, husband ! ” cried my mother with pallid face. “We 
shall be put to some awful torture by these wild children of the 
forest.” A smile so gentle, and yet so calm, that it could not fail 
to be reassuring spread over my father’s features. 

“ Never fear !” said he, “ I know them, I’ve been seeking them ! 
What has been denied many a traveler stronger and bolder than 
I, has been accorded to a member of the Trump family in the 
most miraculous manner. W 7 hen we return to Europe every 
Monarch, every learned society, will hasten to bind a medal on 
my breast, for, dear wife, your husband is the first white man 
to enter the land of the — ” 

“The — ?” echoed my mother leaning forward and grasping 
her husband’s arm. 

“ Melodious Sneezers ! ” 

“ Melodious Sneezers ?” repeated my mother with wide-opened 
eye, and amusement seated in every feature. 

“ Melo— ” 

“ But she could get no further. To my father’s infinite amuse- 
ment, she fell a-sneezing most violently. In such rapid suc- 
cession did the sneezes flow that it sounded exactly like a dimin- 
utive engine under full headway. 

At last the fit seemed to have passed. “ Melo — ” but in vain ; 
she could not reach the second syllable. 

And now, in his turn, my father started off, slow at first but 
going faster and faster. 

Strange to say their sneezing soon began to catch the ways 
of the country and blended thoroughly, keeping time in spite 
of their efforts to check it. 

“Know then, dear wife,” cried my father pantingly when 
his fit was over, “that those strange people stretched on the 
greensward below are the “ Melodious Sneezers that they 
are not only perfectly harmless, but gentle, kind and peaceable 
to an astonishing degree. Fear them not ! Their clubs are 
only for game.” “ But why — ?” asked my mother warily lest 
another fit should take her. 

“I understand thee,” was the reply. “Listen. Know, that 
in this valley and in the greater ones below, the air is always 



filled with myriads upon myriads of insects of infinitessimal 
size ; only the strongest microscope can give proof to your sight 
of their actual existence. For countless generations, these 
peaceable barbarians here have been subjected to the tickling 
sensations which you and I have — ” 

Again my poor parent fell a-sneezing in regular and musical 
cadences, up and down, deep and shrill, now fast and faster, now 
slow and slower until silence reigned again. 

“ Just experienced,” resumed my father, “until it has ren- 
dered the effort of sneezing quite as easy as breathing, and tak- 
ing advantage of results which they soon discerned could not be 
avoided, these children of nature were not slow to lay aside 
their usual speech and literally talk by sneezes ! ” 

“With them, a sneeze is capable of so many intonations, so 
many inflections, that they find no difficulty in expressing all 
the necessary feelings and sensations, — at least necessary for 
them in their simple lives, as you shall see later on.” 

Fain would my poor mother here express her passing won- 
der but she dare not open her mouth. “ Come, dearest mate,” 
cried my father gayly. “ Courage ! Let us descend into this 
beautiful valley, for as yet we are only standing upon the bor- 
ders of the “Land of the Melodious Sneezers” called in their 
soft and musical tongue La-aali-chew-la.” 

The pronunciation of this word again threw my poor par- 
ents into a perfect whirlwind of sneezes ; but nothing daunted, 
they advanced to meet the natives, who at first sight fell pros- 
trate on their faces and for several moments kept up a low 
plaintive hum of sneezes, with their noses thrust into the grass. 

By degrees however, my father succeeding in convincing 
them that he was quite as peaceably inclined as they were. 

Whereupon the Melodious Sneezers performed a most singu- 
lar and withal pleasing dance of joy, their feet keeping perfect 
time with their chorus of sneezing. 

As my father afterwards learned, the dance was to express 
their intense gratitude to the “white spirits” for not having 
eaten them alive. 

The march homeward was now entered upon, my father 



walking hand in hand with the King Chew-chew-lo, and my 
mother escorted by a score or more of his wives, the favorite 
of the royal house being named Chew-la-ara-a-a and each suc- 
cessive one according as she occupied a less lofty place in the 
King’s affections having a shorter name until at last Chew -la 
signified little better than a mere serving maid. 

My father found that the villages of the Melodious Sneezers, 
on account of the frequency and the violence of inundations 
from the network of rivers which completely shut in their 
land, consisted of houses or habitations built in the trees or 
upon lofty piles. 

He and my mother were lodged in one of the most commodi- 
ous of the royal dwellings and so many slaves and attendants 
were assigned to care for their wants that there was little or 
no room to move about. 

To their great sorrow, my father proceeded to dismiss several 
hundred in order that he might get close enough to my mother 
to converse without holloaing and then sent word to King 
Chew-chew-lo that both he and my mother would need at least a 
w r eek of perfect rest and quiet to regain their health and 
strength after their terrible sufferings on the slopes of the 
Mountains of the Moon. 




My birth. The elder Baron reads my horoscope. Birth of Bulger. The 
elder Baron puts on mud-shoes and goes out for a walk. What he 
discovers. My wonderful precocity. My love for Bulger. My terrible 
fall into the lake of mud. How the Melodious Sneezers in their mud- 
shoes attempted to rescue me. Their failure. Bulger comes to their 
assistance. How I was dug out and restored to my mother. Remark- 
able effect of the warm mud on my head and brain. The Melodious 
Sneezers are afraid of me. My fondness for arithmetic and languages. 
Our farewell to the Melodious Sneezers, and return home. How I 
discharged my tutors, and how the elder Baron forced them to pay 
for the instruction I had given them. 



At this point my hand 
trembles and the ink flows 
unsteadily from my pen. 

I am about to record certain 
events which, I feel assured 
the reader will agree with me 
in considering to be the most 
interesting of my strange and 
varied life. Possibly I should 
say interesting to me ; for, 
gentle reader, one of these 
“ certain events” above re- 
ferred to is a no less import- 
ant occurence than my birth 
into this grand and beautiful 
world — a world which has 
proven to be full of wonderful 
things and of more wonderful 
beings, as you shall see as I go 
on with my story. 

I was born in midsummer. 
It was the night season. 

that wretched, 
than all, like a c rim- 
star, shone 

Ten thousand stars twinkled over the cradle of 
little, helpless, lump of clay ; but brighter 
son torch flaming in the skies, Sirius, the dog 
down upon me ! 



My father looked up at the heavens and smiling, murmured : 
“ Litile stranger, thou shalt ever be a lover of dogs. Thy smile 
shall be joy to them, thy words music and in some four-footed 
beast of their race shalt thou find thy best, thy faithfulest, 
thy truest friend. ” 

As if to set the very stamp of truth upon my father’s words 
at that very instant a cry of a mother dog was heard in an 
adjoining room and oue of the Royal household Chew-la-a, came 
running into my presence with a basket of tiny puppies. My 
father laughingly seized the wicker cradle of this newly 
arrived family and holding it up to me, cried out : 

“ Choose, little baron, choose thee a friend and companion.” 
I put out my tiny baby hand and it rested upon one with a 
particularly large head. “ Ha ! ha ! ” laughed my father, “ thou 
hast well chosen, little baron, for him thou hast chosen hath so 
much brain that his head doth fairly bulge with it.” 

And when my infant tongue came to wrestle with that word, 
it was twisted into “ Bulger. ” And thus it was that Bulger and 
I started out on life’s journey at almost the same moment ’ 
Upon the following day my father made discovery that the 
waters had begun to recede in the night, and as he looked down 
from our lofty dwelling, he saw that it now stood apparently 
in the centre of quite an extensive island. After breakfast, 
in accordance with the custom of the country, my father put 
on a pair of King Chew-chew-lo’s wooden shoes which were 
worn by all of the Melodious Sneezers when attempting to 
move about on the surface of the soft mud occasioned by the 

These wooden shoes are extremely light although quite as 
long and as broad as snow shoes. The soles being polished, the 
wearer is enabled to glide over the mud which, from the nature 
of the soil is very oily, with the same rapidity as a runner upon 
snow shoes. 

After an excursion of several hours up hill and down dale my 
father returned with this piece of strange intelligence, namely, 
that their habitation had undoubtedly, prior to the falling of 
the waters been situated in a lake ; but that by degrees, as 



the waters had receded, an island had been formed, which 
somewhat later had been transformed into a peninsula, which 
in its turn by a still further sinking of the waters, had been 
changed into the crown of a mountain with gently sloping 
sides so that, as he reported to my mother, to his dying day 
it would be impossible for him to say whether his son had been 
born in a lake, on an island, upon a peninsula or on a mountain 
top, a fact which pained him extremely, for, like all the mem- 
bers of his family, he took the greatest pride „ in recording 
important events with scrupulous exactitude, even to the small- 
est detail. 

Unlike most babes, who seem content to pass the first half 
year or so of their lives eating, sleeping and crying, I from 
the very outset displayed a most astonishing precocity. 

When only a few weeks old, although I could not talk, yet I 
had learned to whistle for Bulger, whose development in mind 
and body seemed to keep even pace with mine and who passed 
most of his time looking up into my childish face with an 
expression which meant only too plainly : 

“ Oh, I shall be so glad when that little tongue is unloosed 
so that you may call me Bulger and bid me do your will.” 

Nor had he long to wait. 

The one thing, which, at this early period of my life gave 
me most joy, was the sunlight. 

Within doors, I was fretful, peevish, irritable, but once out 
in the open air, my whole nature changed. I drank in the soft, 
balmy atmosphere with a vigor and a satisfaction that 
delighted my father. My face brightened, my eyes traveled from 
valley to hill, from mountain-top to sky. 

Into such an ecstacy of pleasure did this sight of* the great 
world throw me, that my mother became anxious lest it presaged 
some great evil that was to happen unto me. 

But the stately Baron only smiled. “Fear nothing, wife, it 
only means that within that little head dwells a most wonder- 
fully active mind for a child of its months.” 

Whenever Bulger heard his little master crying out in joy- 
ful tones at sight of the beautiful world, he was sure to be 



seized with a fit of violent harking, during which he sprang 
around about me with the wildest and most extravagant mani- 
festations of sympathy. 

Without a doubt, there was a wonderful bond of affection 
between us. 

To my mother’s — I had almost said horror, I, one day while 
she was walking with me in her arms, upon the broad veranda, 
which encircled Chew-cliew-lo’s palaces, attempted to throw 
myself from her arms, crying out in German : Los ! Los ! (Let 
me go ! Let me go ! ) I was but two months old and the loud 
and vigorous tone in which I pronounced this first word which 
I had spoken in my mother’s tongue fairly startled her. 

I had, up to that time, apparently been more interested in the 
soft and musical language of my royal nurse, Chew -la, in which 
I could make myself understood very easily. About this time 
an accident happened to me which, although it did not bring 
about, it greatly hastened the release from parently restraint, 
so ardently desired, both by Bulger and by me, for from my 
very entrance into this world something told me that I should 
be a famous child, not a mere, precocious youth who is made use 
of by his parents at social gatherings to bore people already 
in poor spirits, by mounting upon chair or table and declaim- 
ing verses, parrot-like, with half a dozen woodeny, jerky ges- 
tures ; but a genuine hero, a real traveler, not afraid to brave 
a tempest, face a wild beast or bully a barbarous people into 
doing as he wanted them to do. 

It was my mother’s custom in the cool of the day to sit with 
me on the broad veranda while she darned my father’s stock- 
ings ; for, although of gentle birth, she had been so accustomed 
when a girl to exericse German thrift in all things that now, 
even though she had become the wife of a real baron, she could 
not forego the pleasure of doing things in those good old ways. 

And thus she saved my father many a pfennig which 
the good man bestowed upon the worthy poor and went down to 
the grave loaded with their blessings. 

At such a time it was that a sudden fit of sneezing seized my 
mother and to her unspeakable horror she let me slip from her 



arms. Down, down I fell, striking in the soft mud and disap- 
pearing from sight. 

The poor woman dropped to the floor like lead. 

The stately baron rose to his feet and the color fled from his 
manly cheek. 

But Chew-chew -16, who fortunately was paying a visit to 
my father, only smiled. 

“ Unfeeling barbarian !” roared the great baron, “ hast no 
respect for a father’s tears, a mother’s anguish? Out upon 
thee ! Would to heaven I had never entered thy domain !” 
Chew-chew-lo spake not a work. Turning with imperious mien 
and right royal manner towards a crowd of retainers, he waved 
his hand. 

Quicker than thought the band of Melodious Sneezers 
sprang to their wooden shoes. 

Away, away, they darted like black bats on the wing. 

The baron saw that in his terrible grief lie had let his better 
judgment slip away, and with pallid face and bended head 
stood supporting the fainting form of his wife. 

He felt, he knew, that his presence among the Melodious 
Sneezers at this moment would only disconcert them, impede 
their progress, and possibly so confuse them that all their 
efforts might be in vain. They, from their childhood, were 
so accustomed to wear those huge wooden shoes, to move about 
on the surface of this treacherous mud, that if it were pos- 
sible for human hands to restore his son to his arms, theirs 
would do it. 

And so he spoke a few words of encouragement in my 
mother’s ear, and continued to stand like a statue, with his 
gaze riveted upon the long files of Melodious Sneezers, as they 
wound around the crest of the mountain to gain the spot where, 
as they judged, I had disappeared. 

Armed with their light, broad, wooden shovels, their dusky 
arms rose and fell with wonderful precision and regularity, 
keeping time with the musical notes of their sneezing ; now soft 
and low, now breaking out into a wild and galloping measure. 

Down ! Down ! Down ! 






And yet they delved in vain! 

No sign of me was there to gladden the hearts of my poor, 
grief -stricken parents. 

But hark ! 

What is that shrill cry ? 

It is not human ! 

No ; for it is Bulger’s bark, or rather it is Bulger’s yelp. 

He had been watching the band of Melodious Sneezers, as 
their white shovels rose and fell all in vain, with his head 
thrust through the railings of the veranda. 

No one was there with mind and heart enough to catch the 
meaning of that poor yelp. 

Ohew-chew-lo saw that his men were standing, leaning on 
their shovels, with looks of doubt and hesitation in their eyes. 

The King was silent. 

It was the great baron who spoke : 

“ Oh, let them not give o’er ! My life, my wealth, my all, are 
thine, good, kind Chew-Chew ■” 

A lit of sneezing cut short his appeal. 

Again Bulger’s cry was raised, and this time the King 
heeded it. 

An attendant saw the royal nod, and hastening to bind broad 
wooden cups upon the dog’s feet, he was turned loose upon the 
surface of the mud. 

What is man, with his boasted intelligence ? 

They were ten paces or more distant from the point where 
I had disappeared. 

Yelping, barking, and whining by turns, my dear Bulger 
hurried to the spot where his unerring scent told him that his 
beloved little master had gone down. 

Again the band of Melodious Sneezers set to work . with 
renewed vigor, their white shovels hashing with strange effect 
against the inky blackness of the mud. 

Bulger encouraged them with loud and joyful barkings. 

Suddenly a clear, ringing, melodious “chew” rent the air. 

They had caught sight of me ! 

With rare foresight for one of my months, I had closed my 



nostrils with one hand before reaching the mud, and had thus 
saved my lungs from tilling up. 

But how useless would have been this precaution, had not 
my faithful Bulge]’ come to my rescue ! 

His joy now knew no bounds. 

I thought that I caught a glimpse of a smile on the old 
baron’s tear-stained cheek, as his boy was borne to the veran- 
da, more like an animated lump of earth than aught else, for 
the air had revived me. My eyes were not only wide open, but 
they were the only clean place on my whole body. 

Utterly regardless of my filthy condition, my fond mother 
clasped me convulsively to her breast, and I verily believe that 
she would have pressed her lips upon my mud-covered head 
and face, had she not seen the baron’s broad palm held in 
suspicious proximity, while her mother’s heart was emptying 
itself out in words. A few basins of warm water, and I was 
myself again. 

No, I was never myself again. My bath in the warm mud of 
La-aah-chew-la effected a most remarkable change in me; it 
checked the growth of my body and turned all my strength 
upwards into my head and brain. 

In one short month my head almost doubled in size. 

My baby face and expression were gone ! 

And ere another moon had filled her horns I had grown to 
be a living wonder ! 

Not only was the size of my head something remarkable, but 
from my eyes beamed an astonishing intelligence. 

The poor women of La-aah-chew-la Land crouched in front of 
me as if I were a being from another world and then tapping 
their foreheads they approached my mother and whispered : 

u Most gracious Chew-la-a-a-a-a-a the Great Spirit has made 
a mistake and put two souls in there instead of one ! ” 

And then they bent their graceful bodies till their foreheads 
touched my mother’s feet and withdrew, going out backwards 
like the best regulated court ladies, each leveling her finger at 
me and opening wide her eyes as she disappeared through the 



The whole scene was so grotesque that I burst out into a 
shout of laughter. 

Upon hearing which, the poor creatures tumbled headlong 
over each other in their mad efforts to get outside of the house, 
shrieking at the top of their voices : 

“ Save us ! save us ! He will bewitch us ! ” 

“ Little Baron ! ” said my father in a tone of mock anger, 
“ you should not have frightened the ladies of King Chew-chew - 
Id’s Court ! v 

Chew-pa ! Chew-pa ! (Idiots ! Idiots !) I replied, looking 
up from my slate upon which I was working out an example 
in arithmetic, for I was very fond of figures. 

In fact, my father had already taught me addition by show- 
ing me how to trade off worthless glass beads for valuable 
ivory, and division, by taking away ninety cents from every 
dollar I made. Long before I could read or write, I knew the 
letters of several languages by name, and could spell any 
word which had no silent letter in it. No one took more delight 
in my wonderful accomplishments than Bulger. 

He seemed to know instinctively that his little master was 
no ordinary being and respected him accordingly. We now 
bade adieu to the Land of La-aah- chew-1 a and the Melodious 

King Chew-chew-lo with a mighty band of retainers accom- 
panied us to his frontier, making the forests resound with their 
melodious chew-chew-a-ing. Standing on the old baron’s 
shoulders, I waved them a last goodbye to which they answered 
with such a perfect whirlwind of Chew-chew-a’s that Bulger 
fairly howled with delight. 

Any special honor paid to his master was always a personal 
matter to him. The elder baron had intended to penetrate 
still further into the heart of Africa; but the fact is, that the 
continual growth of my mind was so wonderful that it engrossed 
his attention from morn till night. He endeavored to hide this 
from me; but all to no purpose. 

Before I was two years old my brain had grown so heavy 
that my mother was obliged to sew pieces of lead in the soles 



of my shoes to keep me right end upwards, and yet, in 
spite of this precaution, I was often found standing upon 
my head working out difficult mathematical problems by 
making use of my toes, as the Chinese do their counting 

The first thing which my father did upon reaching home w T as 
to take me to a phrenologist in order to have a chart made of 
my head. 

The examination lasted a month. 

At length, upon the completion of the chart, it was found 
that I possessed thirty-two distinct bumps. 

Well-developed ones, too ! 

It was, therefore, at once determined to engage thiry-two 
learned tutors, each tutor to have charge of a separate bump 
and to do his utmost tc enlarge it even if it grew to be a horn. 

My father was resolved to leave nothing undone in order 
to develop my mental powers to the utmost limit. I said 
nothing either for or against the scheme. 

In one short year I had learned all that the thirty -two tutors 
could teach me, and, what is more, I had taught each one of 
them fifty things which he had not known before, and which 
I had learned while traveling in foreign lands with my parents. 

One fine morning to the great surprise of my thirty-two tutors 
I discharged the whole of them. 

The elder baron at my suggestion now sent a bill to each 
tutor for services rendered him by me. 

Each tutor refused to pay. 

The elder baron, at my suggestion, now caused legal process 
to be served upon each one of them. 

The court upon hearing my testimony rendered an opinion 
which covered five thousand pages of legal cap paper and 
required a whole week to read, in which they held that each 
thing which I had taught to each one of my thirty-two tutors 
was so remarkably strange and peculiar that in the eye of the 
law it was worth at least one hundred dollars. That made 
the bill of each tutor amount to five thousand dollars, or one 
hundred and sixty thousand dollars in all. 



The court then adjourned for a year, all three judges being 
so worn out mentally and physically as to need a twelve 
months’ rest before taking up any other business. 





How the elder Baron lost flesh worrying about the investment of my 
money. Effect ot his anxiety on the rest of the household. I take the 
matter in hand and devise ways to increase my fortune. I become ex- 
tremely wealthy. When eight years of age I am seized with an 
uncontrolable desire to visit faraway lands, and begin to pack up 
I he elder Baron objects. How I set to work to get his consent. Wild 
doings ot my playfellows. How we stormed the castle, broke up the 
hawking, ruined the fox hunt, summoned the ten doctors, and set fire 
to the neighboring fields. The elder Baron grows weary of my doings 
and consents to let me go. My delight and Bulger’s joy. 

The question which now 
occupied my father’s mind to 
the exclusion of all other 
thoughts was how to invest 
this large sum of money, so 
that upon my attaining my 
twenty-first year I would be 
provided with a sufficiently 
large income to live as a baron 
should — particularly when he 
belonged to so famous a fam- 
ily as ours. 

The fact of the matter is, 
my father permitted this 
question to prey upon his peace of mind to such an extent that 
he lost flesh perceptibly. 

My mother, too, seeing his lamentable condition began to fret 
and worry to such a degree, that she likewise became greatly 
emaciated. With their loss of flesh naturally their appetites 
dwindled and little or no food was provided; or, anyway, no 
more than was just sufficient to satisfy Bulger’s and my wants. 

W r hereupon the servants began to lose flesh, both the indoor 
and outdoor ones ; and in their desperate attempt to keep body 
and soul together, the horses and cattle were fed upon short 
rations, and the consequence was, they, too, soon began to fall 




So it grew to be quite a serious sight to see my poor father 
and mother reduced to mere skin and bones, driven about the 
country by mere shadows for coachman and footman, and 
drawn by four horses whose bones fairly rattled under their 
skins when they were coaxed or beaten into a lazy trot. 

Bulger and I alone retained our plumpness and good spirits. 
At length I determined to interfere and put a speedy end to 


this deplorable state of affairs. I exacted from the elder baron 
a solemn promise that he would follow my directions to the 
letter and not raise any objections, no matter how wild or 
unreasonable they might appear to him, or to my mother. 

Then bidding him to partake of some good, succulent food, 
retiro early and get a nice long sleep, I saluted him respect- 
fully and said : 



“ Baron, until to-morrow morning ! ” 

I had scarcely finished my breakfast when my door opened 
and the elder baron walked into the room. 

He looked much refreshed. The color had returned to his 
cheek, the gleam to his eye. 

He was already a different man. 

“Here, gracious Sir,” I began, handing him a parchment 
roll, “ is a list of all the best known almanac makers in our land. 
Have interviews with them at once and purchase from them 
the right to furnish weather prognostications for the coming 
year ! ” 

The elder baron began to expostulate. “ Baron ! ” I re- 
marked sternly, raising my hand, “ a true Knight has but one 
word to give ! ” 

He was silent and motioned me to continue. 

I did so as follows : 

“ Respected parent, when you have secured this right from 
each of them, return to me. ” 

In a few days my father had accomplished his mission. 

He entered my room and put into my hands the needful 
concessions from every noted almanac maker in the land. 

Again I bade him refresh himself thoroughly, get a good 
night’s rest and see me in the morning. 

As Bulger and 1 were returning from breakfast the elder 
baron presented himself at the door of my apartments. 

He looked strong and well. His face had filled out again and 
his step had recovered its old-time elasticity. 

Again I placed a roll of parchment in his hands, and said 
to him : 

“ Scatter the contents of that parchment evenly and plenti- 
fully throughout each almanac, on the pages devoted to the 
months of November, December, January, and February.” 

He looked at me inquiringly, and his lips began to move. 

“Noble Sir !” said I, ere a sound had issued from his month, 
“ in our family, knights have always been without fear and 
without reproach.” He bent his lofty form in silence and 



Possibly the reader may have a little curiosity to know the 
contents of the parchment roll which I placed in the hands of 
the elder baron on this occasion. 

If brevity be the soul of wit, it was witty. If a fair round 
hand be the garb of truth, it was truthful. Be this as it may 
choose to be, the words which my pen had traced on that parch- 
ment roll, read as follows : 

“ All signs point to an extremely cold W inter .” “ Indications 
are that the coming Winter will be the severest for half a cen- 
tury.” “ Forecasts all give the same answer — a Winter of 
exceptional length and bitter coldness.” “ Most skilled prognosti- 
cators agree in predicting a degree of low temperature rarely 
reached in these latitudes.” “ About this time expect unusual 
cold.” “ Protect plants.” “ Now look well to your winter veg- 
etables.” “ Secure them from the extreme frost.” “ Double 
your supply of winter fuel.” “Now look for fierce snow- 
storms.” “ Expect bitter cold weather during all this month.” 
“ Prepare for most unusual hail storms.” “ Be on your guard 
for sudden and penetrating north winds.” “House cattle 
warmly for all this month.” “Beware of deadly blizzards, 
they will come with a furious onset.” 

After a few days’ absence, my father returned to the manor 
house. His arrival was duly announced to me by Bulger, to 
whom I said : “ Go, good Bulger, and conduct the Baron to jny 
apartment. ” 

Away he bounded with many a sportive leap and bark, and 
soon returned, ushered in the elder baron with the joyous 
manner so common to him when active in serving me. 

“ I have obeyed thee, my son ! ” murmured the elder baron 
with a stately arc in his bending form. 

“ ’Tis well ! ” I replied, motioning him to be seated. 

“And now honored guide of my childhood’s uncertain feet, 
give heed to my words : Our task is almost done. In a few 
days the investment of this money, which has occasioned thee 
so much anxiety, fairly robbing thee of thy heart’s service, 
will be complete ; ay, complete; and, what is better still, so 
fortunately invested that thou shalt be enabled to call thyself 
the father of one of the richest children in the Kingdom.” 



“ Hearken, Baron. Go now into the leading markets of the 
land and put every fur merchant under written contract to 
deliver unto thee in early Autumn all the pelts, dressed, 
undressed, or on the hacks of the owners, of which they will 
guarantee the delivery under their hands and seals. ” 

The words had scarcely fallen from my lips ere the elder 
baron had risen from his chair and caught me warmly to his 

“ My son !” he cried as he stroked my protuberant brow, it 
is a master stroke ! It is worthy of a governor of a province ! 
I long to begin the good work. Permit me to set out this very 
night ! ” “ Wait baron ! ” said I, leading him to his chair and 
gently constraining him to be seated. “Wait, Baron; there 
is somewhat yet to be said. When thou hast completed the 
purchase of all the pelts, which are expected to enter the 
Kingdom this year, expend the rest of the money in purchasing 
all the wood, coal and peat thou canst find, not that I would 
draw profit from the poor man’s slender store ; but simply to 
keep others from wronging him by combining against him, 
as they would surely do upon the first publication of the 
weather predictions ” “ Ah, little Baron !” exclaimed my 

father, “how thoughtful ; for, as thou sayest, we must not lay 
a burden on the poor man’s shoulders ! ” 

Such was the diligence with which my father carried my 
plans to completion, that in a single month I had bought and 
sold again the entire product of the fur market, at a small 
advance, it is true, but large enough to make me an extremely 
rich man. 

It was so gently and skillfully done, that no one ever sus- 
pected the clever ruse by which I was enabled to acquire 
riches enough to set out upon my travels just as my inclina- 
tion might prompt, and to know that were I to be captured 
and held for ransom by the most grasping freebooters, my 
bankers would have gold enough to ransom me. 

Upon the completion of my eighth year I was seized with 
an uncontrolable desire to enter at once upon the fulfill- 
ment of my long cherished plans, to visit faraway lands inhab- 



ited by strange and curious people. My own home, my own 
language, my own people, wearied me and wore upon me. 

In my sleep I paced the deck of staunch vessels, shouted my 
orders, crowding sail in calm and reefing in threatening 
weather. I passed my time from morn till night, packing 
cases with suitable articles for traffic with the savages, so 
that I might be able to penetrate into interiors never visited 
by civilized man, and ascend rivers closed since the world 
began to the white-winged messengers of trade a$d commerce. 
But, strange to say, my father urged thereto, possibly, by the 
entreaties of my mother, firmly and resolutely set his face 
against my project of leaving home. 

I was beside myself with disappointment. I entreated, I 
implored, I threatened. For the first time in my life — it pains 
me even now to make the confession — I was guilty of a certain 
disrespect to the authors of my being. 

Bulger, after studying the situation for several days, reached 
the conclusion that the elder baron was in some w T ay the cause 
of my unhappiness, and it required, at times, my sternest com- 
mand to restrain him from setting his teeth in the calves of 
the elder baron’s legs as he quitted my apartment after some 
stormy inerview. 

“ What ! ” cried I, in tones tremulous with grief, “ am I 
doomed to waste the splendid gifts with which nature has 
endowed me, shut within the walls of this petty town, whose 
most boisterous scenes are the brawls of its market places, 
whose people never witness a grander pageant than the pass- 
ing of a royal troop of horse ? It must not, it shall not be. 
Thou hast said, thyself, that I am no ordinary child to be 
amused with ball and top, and entertained with picture books. ” 

But the elder baron had hardened his heart, and all my plead- 
ing was to no purpose. 

And yet I did not despair of gaining my point in the end. 

The continual dropping of water finally wore away the rock. 
I made up my mind now to move the elder baron to acquiesce 
in my project of leaving home by resorting to entirely different 
tactics. Said I to myself : 



“ He wishes me to be a child : I’ll be one ! And forthwith 1 
set about making friends with every mischievous little rogue 
in the town. ' 

Not a single juvenile ne’er-do-well escaped my attentions. 

The more rampant, active, and tireless his power of mischief, 
the closer I wrapped him in my affections. 

From gray dawn to dewy eve these chums and boon com- 
panions of mine flocked about the castle. Tlie} T worshipped 
me as their leader and yielded an implicit obedience to my 
commands as were I possessed of some mastery over them. 

The elder baron saw the gathering cloud and bent his head 
as if to meet the coming storm with better chance of resisting it. 

Came there a dinner party, the choicest Bur guild}' was 
found to have been spirited away and the bottles filled with 
common claret. Did the elder baron meet his friends in the 
fields for a trial with the hawks, it was only to, discover that 
they had been so overfed as to sit stupidly placid when the 
hood was removed. Let the cook be told that guests were 
expected, and that he must be careful to have the little dump- 
lings of his soup extra delicate, to the elder baron’s horror, 
a cherry stone would be found in the centre of each little 

One of my coadjutors was venturesome enough to pilfer 
the elder baron’s snuff box and fill it with pepper. The result 
may be imagined, Another took good care to pour water into 
all the tinder boxes before the guests called for their pipes. 
Upon attempting to rise from the table, here and there a queue 
would be found securely tied to the back of the chair. 

One of my favorite exploits was to station myself on the first 
landing of the stairway and “hold the bridge like Horatius 
Codes of old,” my wild band of two dozen young barbarians 
rushing madly up the staircase with screams, yells and vocif- 
erations which would have done credit to any horde of real 
savages I have ever visited, while I, with my wooden sabre, 
beat down their sticks, occasionally rapping too bold a young- 
ster on the knuckles and sending him bawling to the foot of the 
stairway, to Bulger’s infinite amusement, as he always insisted 
upon taking part in the fray and gloried in my prowess. 



At last to my great joy, I noticed that the elder baron showed 
signs of surrender. 

Like a prudent general I ordered an attack all along the line. 

There was to be a fox hunt the next day. I directed one of 
my trusted lieutenants to feed the hounds all the raw meat they 
could swallow, about an hour before the start. 

Ten others, most fleet-footed and glib-tongued, I dispatched 
to the houses of the ten leading physicians and surgeons of 
the town and its immediate neighborhood, with the same mes- 
sage to each, namely, that every man, woman and child at the 


manor house had been taken violently ill, and that the greatest 
haste must be made to come with their medicine chests so that 
the epidemic might be checked. 

The ten doctors galloped into the courtyard at nearly the 
same moment, only to find the elder baron and his friends 
gathered on the platform and holding a whispered consulta- 
tion over the strange actions of the hounds. The angry dis- 
ciples of Galen refused to prescribe for the poor" animals, 
and galloped away again with their well-filled holsters thumping 
against their legs. 

Meanwhile I had not been idle. 

To the claws of a score or more of the elder baron’s fowls 
I tied a kind of fuzee of my own invention, so inflammable that 
the slightest friction would cause it to burst into flame, and 
then I turned them loose in the fields and garden adjoining the 
family hall. 



They had been cooped up all the Summer, and were over- 
joyed at the prospect of a good, comfortable scratching time 
’mid the dry leaves and stubble of the open fields. 

The gamekeepers by this time had succeeded in arousing 
the hounds somewhat from their stupor, when the cry of “ fire ! 
fire !” went up. The hunting party hastily dismounted and 
joined the servants in the mad rush for buckets of water. 

I was sitting calmly in my apartment, with Bulger by my side, 
when the alarm was raised. 

The elder baron at first was inclined to think that although 
my workmanship was plainly visible in the fabrics of mischief, 
which consisted in overfeeding the hounds and summoning the 
ten doctors to the manor house on a wild goose chase, yet the 
breaking out of the fire in the neighboring gardens and fields 
was really something with which I had nothing to do. The 
return of a venerable old Dominick rooster, which had been 
either too feeble or too lazy to explode the fuzees attached to 
his claws, settled the matter, however. 

The elder baron’s mind was now clear as to who had con- 
ceived the crime in which his poor fowls had so unwittingly 
become the accomplices. 

That night Bulger and I went to bed with light hearts. 

The elder baron had at last consented to let us set out on 
our first journey in quest of strange adventures among the 
curious people of far-away lands. 





Preparations for my first voyage. The elder Baron selects the port from 
which I am to sail. Description of port No Man’s Port. How I escaped 
its quicksands, Whirlpool and Thor’s Hammer. Becalmed on the 
Southern Seas, I rescue my ship in a wonderful way. Land ho! 
Something about a beautiful Island. I leave my ship and start for 
the interior. How I fell in with some most extraordinary beings. Des- 
cription of them. They leave me to go and request permission of their 
chief to present me at his court. How I thought myself attacked by a 
band of gigantic beings. My strange mistake. They prove to be the 
same beings I had met the day before. What had caused the trans- 
formation. The land of the Wind Eaters. I am conducted to the 
court of Ztwish-Ztwish. More about the curious people. The Chief’s 
affection for me. The bursting of the babies. Go- Whizz becomes my 
enemy. I grow thin. Queen Phew-yoo wants me to marry Princess 
Pouf-fah. To regain my flesh I teach the Wind Eaters to catch fish. 
Terrible accident resulting from a fire I had kindled. Go-Whizz 
demands my death. Ztwish-Zt wish refuses. The furious brawler tries 
to slay the Chief and is himself slain, by Ztwish-Ztwish. To avoid 
the marriage with Pouf-fah, I send Bulger back to the ship, and then 
escape in the night. Too weak to bear the fatigue, I am overtaken. 
Enmeshed in the nets of the Wind Eaters and nearly beaten to death. 
Bulger rescues me. The relief party from my ship come up with me. 
I reach the coast, and after a short rest, sail for home. 

I threw myself now heart 
and soul into the task of mak- 
ing ready for my first voyage. 

Bulger was not slow to 
understand what all the hur- 
ry-skurry meant. 

He was delighted at the 
prospect of a trip to distant 
lands where life had less 
monotony about it. By the 
hour he would sit and watch 
me at my labors and, from 
time to time, to please him, 
I pointed out articles lying here and there about the room and 
bade him fetch them, which he invariably did, with many man- 
ifestations of pleasure at being permitted to help his little 




In fact, everybody lent a hand most kindly, so that, to my 
great satisfaction, I was left more time for the study of naviga- 

My poor mother, the gracious baroness, would not permit 
anyone else to mark my clothing. With her own slender, white 
fingers she worked the crest and initials of my wardrobe. 

There was a matter which I turned over in my thoughts for 
several da} r s, to wit : What national garb I should adopt. 

After long and mature deliberation I resolved to attire myself 
in Oriental dress. I did so for several reasons. It had been a 
favorite garb of mine. 

Its picturesque grace appealed to my love of the beautiful, 
while on the other hand, its ease and lightness made it very 
agreeable to one of extreme suppleness of limb and elasticity of 
step. While the old manor house was being literally turned 
topsy-turvy and everybody, from cook to chambermaid, set by 
the ears, the elder baron was by no means idle. He took good 
care, among other things, that I was well provided with whole- 
some reading matter, and brought me several books of maxims, 
precepts, reflections, thoughts and studies, which he requested 
me to thrust into the empty corners of my chests, “ for,” said he, 
and that, too, with a great show of reason, “ thou wilt have 
many idle hours on thy hands in calm weather. It behooves 
thee to feed thy mind lest its wonderful development be checked 
and thou become as an ordinary child, with no thoughts above 
games and picture books.” My poor mother, the gracious bar- 
oness, added to this stock of good literature by presenting me 
with a small volume entitled : “ The Straight Road to Good 
Health $ or, Everybody His Own Doctor.” As to my medicine 
chest, I gave that my personal supervision, for I was always 
skilled in the art of reading all kinds of symptoms and was 
gifted with the rare faculty of knowing almost instinctively 
what remedy to give for a certain ailment, without first experi- 
menting upon the patient by trying one thing after another, as 
is the custom with most people who pretend to heal sickness. 

Everything was going well now, and I was in the best of 
spirits, when the elder baron came to me with a proposal which, 





for some reason, I can hardly tell why, displeased me, although 
it would seem that it ought to have had the opposite effect. 
He proposed to precede me, by a week or ten days, to the North 
Sea, in some port of which I intended to purchase and fit out a 
swift, staunch vessel, purchase the vessel himself, give his per- 
sonal attention to fitting her out and shipping a crew of picked 

What could I do? 

If I refused his offer, it would have been tantamount to a 
confession of distrust on my part. 

Can he have in mind any project to thwart my scheme ? 

O, perish the thought ! 

But I must confess that I did not accept his proffered 
services without serious misgivings. 

This sudden anxiety on the part of the elder baron to hurry 
my departure, after having opposed it so long and so vigor- 
ously, made me a little uneasy in my mind. 

Before setting out for the North Sea to purchase a ship for 
me, the elder baron entered my apartment, and spoke as 
follows : 

“ Pardon me, little baron, for interrupting thy labors, for I 
perceive that thou art deep in the study of navigation.” 

“Speak, Baron,” said I, looking up, Avith a mischievous smile, 
“that right belongs to thee.” 

“I have a last request to make,” he continued, in his usual 
calm manner, “nor is it a matter of very great importance. 
Rather is it a whim, more than aught else. Thou knowest 
from my lips, and from the perusal of our family chronicles, 
that we were in ancient time very large land owners on the 
coast of the North Sea. We controlled several ports, were 
extensively engaged in trade, sending out at least a score of 
ships in a twelvemonth. One of the ports of our domain was 
a famous one, famous for the extraordinary character of its 
inlet and outlet currents, channel, etc. It was said of this 
port that it was more dangerous than the open sea, that ves- 
sels were really safer out of it than in it. I know not how 
much of truth may be in all this, but I do know that one 



man, an ancestor of ours, not only sailed into it, but safely 
out again, for thou must know that the channel by which a 
vessel gained admission to this port could not be used to 
leave it again, as the irresistible current always flowed the one 
way, namely, from the sea into this mysterious basin. To 
leave it, the bold mariner must trust his bark to another 
channel, and therein lurked the danger. 

It would gratify me greatly, little baron, if thou couldst 
prove to the world that, no matter how difficult Other captains 
once found, and now find it, to sail out of this port, yet to thee 
it offered no insurmountable obstacles, and therefore, am I 
come to ask thee to set sail from this port ! ” 

“ It is called ? ” I asked carelessly, as I turned to a chart of 
the North Sea. 

“ Port No Man’s Port, ” replied the baron. 

“ I like its name, ” said I. “ Order my ship to await me 

The elder baron arose, and bending his body with stately 
grace, withdrew. I accompanied him to the door and dismissed 
him with most respectful obeisance. 

“ Port No Man’s Port, ” I answered. “ Ah, here is the chart ! ” 
The descriptive text reads as follows : 

Abandoned for many years ; ingress easy ; egress so danger- 
ous as to mean fatal injury, if not destruction, to sailing craft ; 
outer channel blocked by a fearful whirlpool and swinging 
rock called “ Thor’s Hammer ; ” inner basin extremely danger- 
ous from constantly shifting sands ; closed by order of the 
Royal Ministry of Commerce and Marine.” Upon finishing 
the reading of these words I sprang up and began to pace 
the floor, wildly and half unconsciously. 

The blood rushed in upon my brain. I was obliged to halt 
and cling to the back of a tall oak chair, or I should have stag- 
gered and fallen to the ground. 

Bulger was greatly alarmed and sent up a suppressed howl 
of grief. I spoke to him as calmly as I could to comfort him. 

After a few moments the vertigo passed off and my mind 
cleared up completely. 



“ Nay, it is impossible. ” I whispered , “ the elder baron could 
not be guilty of bad faith to me ! Away with such a thought ! 
He errs through thoughtlessness and lack of experience. He 
little knows the terribly dangerous character of the task he 
is setting me. To him, the talks of shipwreck and death within 
Port No Man’s Port are but the legends of old-time sailor- 
life. He has not the faintest suspicion that his request, so 
lightly made, exposes his only child, son and heir to a princely 
fortune and honored name, either to be engulfed by these 
shifting sands, sucked down to destruction by this fearful 
whirlpool, or crushed by a blow from Thor’s Hammer.” 

And yet why murmur ? 

It is too late to protest. Already the elder baron has pro- 
claimed to the world the, to him proud piece of news, that his 
son was about to renew the old-time glories of his family ! 
I must do one of two things : Face these dangers like a man 
of cool, calm courage, or condemn myself to a life of dull and 
listless activity, the magnate of a province and not the hero 
of two worlds ! 

No ! the die is cast ! 

I have said it and it is as good as done ! 

My ship sails from Port No Man’s Port, or this little body 
feeds its fish that day!” 

Doubtless my eyes brightened, and my cheeks took on a glow 
of crimson hue, for Bulger, who had been listening to my solil- 
oquy with a most pained expression on his face, as he vainly 
tried to get at the meaning of my words, now broke out into 
a very lively succession of barks, bounding and springing 
about the room in the wildest merriment. He knew only too 
well that some terrible struggle had been going on in my mind. 

Now he realized that all was well. Faithful creature, if 
he could only tell his love, how he would put all human lovers to 
blush ! 

As the hour drew near for me to bid adieu to the baronial 
hall, that good lady, the gracious baroness, my mother, sud- 
denly thought of a thousand and one things which she deemed 
of the very greatest importance to me. She warned me that I 



was not to sleep in a draught ; not to partake of freshly-baked 
bread ; not to drink cold water while overheated ; not to cut 
my finger nails too short ; not to sleep with my mouth open ; 
not to wear my underclothing longer than one week ; not to 
neglect to brush my teeth ; not to fail to have my hair cut with 
the new moon ; not to strain my eyes reading by a poor light 
not to swallow my food without thoroughly chewing it; not 
to laugh while I had food in my mouth ; not to attempt to stop 
a sneeze ; not to neglect to pare my corns ; not to^ pick my teeth 
with a metal point ; not to examine the end of my nose without 
a looking-glass ; not to eat meat without pepper, or vegetables 
without salt ; not to exert myself after a hearty meal ; not to 
stand upon my leg while it was asleep ; not to walk so fast as 
to get a pain in my side ; not to go to sleep until I had first 
rested on my right side ; not to fail to take a pill if I saw flashes 
in the dark ; not to neglect to tie a stocking around my neck 
in case my throat felt sore, etc., etc., etc. When the moment 
came to take leave of the gracious baroness, my good mother, 
I was deeply moved. All the servants and retainers, from 
indoors and out, filed in front of me, kissed my hand and 
showered blessings on me. 

I may safely say that the only being present not moved to 
tears was Bulger. He was so anxious to get under way that 
he passed an hour or so racing from the manor house to the 
carriage and back again in a piteous endeavor to get the pro- 
cession started. 

Start we did, at last. 

A hundred hands waved us a fond farewell. 

The stately trees that shut in the baronial hall swa} r ed sol- 
emnly. I was glad when we rolled out of the court yard for 
I needed rest and quiet. 

My nerves had been on such a stretch for the past month 
that a change of scene brought me balm and relaxation. 

My journey to the North Sea was quiet and uneventful. 

I found my ship safely anchored in Uort No Man’s Port, and 
the elder baron there in charge of her. He introduced me to 
the sailing-master, pressed me in his own loving arms, and 



with a gracious smile and stately wave of the hand, seated 
himself in the family coach. His only adieu was : 

“ My son, thy wisdom comes to thee by inheritance. Thou 
couldst not have acquired it. Therefore, make a noble use of 
so noble a gift. Farewell !” 

I bent my head in silence. The carriage rolled away. I 
stood alone. Nay, a true and loving friend was there. He 
looked up with his large, lustrous eyes, as if to say : 

“ Don’t be sad, little master. No matter who goes, I’ll stay 
by thee forever !” 

Turning to my sailing-master, I ordered the ship’s launch 
to be manned, and began at once a survey of the mysterious 
port in which my ship lay anchored. 

I found it to be a roomy basin, shut in by a rock-bound 
shore. In places the waters slept beneath black and glassy 
surfaces ; in others, all was movement and commotion. Its 
waves came boiling and bubbling against the launch with 
swirling masses of white sand, shifting hither and thither, as 
if condemned to perpetual unrest. 

The fact that my men, while fishing in different parts of 
the bay, often caught deep-sea fish, proved to me that Port 
No Man’s Port was traversed by a channel from four to six 
fathoms in depth. 

The only difficulty would be to fix the boundaries of this 
constantly shifting path long enough to sail across the basin. 

I next turned my attention to the whirlpool. It marked 
the junction of the outer channel with the basin of Port No 
Man’s Port. 

Having purchased a number of condemned hulks for the pur- 
pose of testing the strength and fury of the whirlpool, I 
caused a strong hawser to be rigged to a capstan^on shore, 
and was in this way enabled to let the launch approach within 
a ship’s length of the whirlpool with perfect safety. In truth, 
it was, when roused to the full measure of its fury by the 
intrusion of any large floating body, a sight to strike terror 
to the stoutest heart ! 

With a deep booming and rumble, its waters rose in tumultu- 



ous commotion, boiling, bubbling, seething, till snow-white 
foam covered the pool like a mantle of bleached linen, then 
lifting the intruder, Avhich in this case was one of the hulks 
that I had ordered to be launched upon them, these angered 
waters whirled it completely around. In an instant, as if 
exhausted by this tremendous effort, a mysterious calm sank 
upon the pool. The foam-sheet, broken in shreds, danced 
gently on the rippling bosom of the waters. All was peace, 
save that the hulk still lay trembling like an affrighted being 
in the lap of this resting monster ! 

For, look ! It is aroused again. Faster and faster it whirls 
its prey. Deeper and deeper its now wide-opened jaws draw 
down the ill-fated hulk ! 

A terrible roar tells that the end is near ! 

’Tis gone ! 

Ay, but wait : It will give up its prey again ! 

Even now bits of plank float seaward, dancing on the 
rushing waters. 

Soon the crumpled, broken, crushed remnants of that strong 
hulk will follow. 

This watery monster doth not feed upon what he swallows ! 
He destroys for the mere love of destruction. Night had 
come now. I returned to my ship. The shifting sands and 
the whirlpool had uncovered their horrors. But I feared 
them no more ! Like the horse-tamer when he has at last 
succeeded in thrusting the steel bit between the champing and 
gnashing teeth of the wild young steed, I now felt that they 
were conquered. 

“ And now for Thor’s Hammer !” was my cry, as I sat down 
beside Bulger for a brief moment’s reflection. 

The first streak of gray light in the east found me on deck. 

“ Thor’s Hammer ” was a huge shaft of black, flinty rock, pro- 
jecting about twenty feet out of the water and ending in a 
hammer-shaped head. It guarded the channel where it reached 
the sea, standing exactly in the middle, thus forcing a vessel to 
pass on one side or the other of it. 

Beneath the waters, this dread sentinel must have ended 



in a gigantic ball, which, in the flight of time had worn a socket 
for itself in the bed rock of the channel ;• for it swung loose and 
free, moved by every powerful billow from side to side, threat- 
ening swift destruction to any passing craft. 

To speak frankly, the sight of this terrible engine of destruc- 
tion appalled me ! How shall I escape the vigilance of this 
gigantic sentinel, who knows no sleep, no rest, whose blows fall 
with like fury on friend or foe ? How shall I lull him to repose 
for a few brief moments ? 

Determined to study closely the strength, the rapidity, and 
the character of the blows struck b} 7 “ Thor’s Hammer,” I 
caused several huge structures of plank and timber to be erected 
near the position of this mighty sentinel of rock. One after 
the other I ordered them to be thrown into the channel. 

At first, I was fairly paralyzed upon discovering that even the 
slight vortex caused by the drifting by of one of these wooden 
structures set the swinging rock in violent vibration and always 
towards the passing object. 

Judging from the effect of Thov’s Hammer upon these 
floating masses of plank and timber, a single blow would suffice 
to crush the very life out of my ship in spite of her unusual 

I stood transfixed with dread forebodings. I could feel the 
beads of perspiration break from my forehead and trickle down 
my cheeks. Must I give up and return home, broken in spirits, 
humiliated, the butt of ridicule, the target of village wit, the 
subject of mirth and laughter in every peasant’s cottage ? 

Oh, no ! It can not, it must not be ! 

Like a flash of lightning, a thought flamed across the dark 
horizon of my mind. 

Am I not dreaming ? Was it really so ? 

One of the wooden structures still remained. Controlling my 
emotion with great difficulty, I ordered it thrown into the 
channel and took up a favorable position to watch once again 
the wrath of the towering sentinel ! In a few moments “ Thor’s 
Hammer” felt the coming of the craft and bent itself in impo- 
tent rage beating the air with blows which fell faster and 



faster ! Ay, I was right ! When once Thor’s Hammer had 
begun its labor of death and ruin, it turned not from its task, 
so long as there remained any object for it to spend its fury 
upon ! 

Nor was there any escape for the ill-fated craft until it had 
been pounded into flinders ! Hanging over it, blow f ollowed 
blow with fearful clash and clamor. Not until the poor rem- 
nant had drifted seaward, did that black and flinty shaft cease 
its furious swinging. 

Turning to my sailing-master, who stood with his wonder- 
ing eyes fixed full upon me, I called out in a calm and careless 
tone : “ In three days, skipper, if the weather is clear, we 
leave Port No Man’s Port !” 

A lump rose up in his throat, but he gulped it down, and 
cried out merrily : 

“Ay, ay, sir.” 

And what three busy days they were, too ! My men were 
not long in catching something of the indomitable spirit of 
their new commander. I worked them hard, but I fed them 
well, served out grog with a liberal, but wise hand, and saw 
that all their wants were satisfied. In turn, their wonderment 
became admiration, and their admiration affection. 

The first day all the hands that could be spared were set to 
work making fishing lines, with a good, stout hook at one end 
and a cork float at the other. The lines were cut about three 
fathoms in length, and the floats were painted a bright crim- 
son. I then gave orders to rig three jury-masts, one midships, 
and one fore and aft. 

My men set to work with a will, but I caught them several 
times in the act of tapping their foreheads and exchanging 
significant glances. But if this last order threw them into a 
brown study, my next had the effect of a bombshell exploding 
in their midst. 

Sailing-master and all, they stood staring at me as if they 
were only waiting for me to annihilate them. 

My order was to rig a steering gear under the figure-head. 
A coasting vessel, which I had sent for, now came sailing 



leisurely into Port No Man’s Port. I directed the skipper to 
pay her crew three months’ extra wages, and discharge them. 

This done, my men were ordered to lash the coaster on our 
starboard side. 

I verily believe that my whole plan, so carefully studied out, 
was at this point only saved from utter failure by the wisdom 
of my faithful Bulger. 

The coaster had no sooner been lashed to our side than he 
sprang lightly over the railing, and began to amuse himself 
by gamboling up and down the clear deck. Suddenly he paused 
near one of the hatches and broke out into a most furious 
barking. I called to one of my officers to look sharp and see 
what the matter was. He reported in a few moments that 
one of the discharged seamen had been found concealed in the 
hold. When I threatened to put him in irons, he confessed 
that his design had been to cut the coaster loose as soon as 
our ship had drawn near to the whirlpool. 

It was a narrow escape. 

Dear, faithful Bulger, how much we owe thee for that dis- 
covery ! 

The third day dawned bright and fair. 

The wind was most favorable, blowing strong off shore. 

At the first glimmer of light, my men were astir and on the 
lookout for my appearance. 

They greeted Bulger and me with three hearty cheers. 

They had made up their minds that what I didn’t know, 
Bulger did ! At last all was ready ! 

I nodded to the sailing-master, and in a moment or so the 
capstan began to revolve, and the merry “ Yo, heave O !” of 
the men told me that the anchor had been started. Hundreds 
of the lines and floats, well-baited, were now cast overboard. 
Standing on the taff rail, glass in hand, I watched them closely 
and anxiously. 

Imagine my joy at seeing several of these crimson floats dis- 
appear like a flash, rise again, and again vanish for an instant. 

“ The first point is gained,” I cried out. “ I have found the 
channel !” 



Passing word quickly to the sailing-master who was in 
charge of the steering gear, my good vessel moved slowly out 
of Port No Man’s Port, stern first. Again and again the baited 
lines with their crimson floats were thrown overboard. The 
deep water fish that swarmed the ever-shifting channel kept 
steadily at work. As our ship advanced, they tugged at the lines 
and thus kept the tortuous course plainly marked out. Glass 
in hand, I watched the successful working of this part of my 
plan, with tingling veins and a bounding heart. A loud huzza 
from my men tell me that we have cleared the shifting sands. 
Ay, true it is ! We have crossed the basin of Port No Man’s 
Port ! Its dreaded quicksands swirl and roll in vain. It was 
not fated that they should engulf the Little Baron’s ship ! 

But see ! The channel narrows ! The waters grow black, 
and troubled. And hark ! 

Didn’t you hear that dull roar ? I spring down from the 
taffrail ! I pass among my men and drop here and there a word 
of encouragement. My perfect calmness impresses them. No 
merry “ ay, ay, Sir !” goes up, but I see a response in their faces. 
It is: “We trust you little captain, speak!” The dull roar 
grows louder and louder. 

The rapids catch us up and bear us along like chips on the 
foaming tide of a mountain stream. Our staunch vessel rocks 
like a toy boat. The coaster lashed to one side creaks and 
groans in its wild efforts to break away. 

Calling Bulger to me I pass the line around him and lash him 
firmly to the main-mast, for I was fearful lest a sudden lurch 
might hurl him overboard. On, on, we speed through the fright- 
ened waters. The roar is deafening. I glance at my* seamen. 
Their bronzed faces are blanched. They cling to the shrouds 
and stays. Their eyes are riveted upon me. 

Look ! the fearful whirlpool is dead ahead of us. It opens 
its foam-flecked jaws like some terrible monster. We leap 
into its very mouth. Are we lost ? How can it be otherwise ? 
As if our staunch vessel were a nut-shell, the swirling, raging, 
whirling, battling, boiling waters catch her up in their encir- 
cling arms, lift her high above the sea level, turn her completely 



around and drop her with such terrific force that great walls 
of water rise on all sides and threaten to engulf the frail wooden 
thing. But most wondrous change ; mark how she floats upon a 
glassy pool ! The foam dances in the sunlight on the rippling 
waves. Allis peace where but a moment before nature raged 
with demoniac fury. Quick as thought I leap into the mizzen 
shrouds : “ Cut away the jury-masts !” They fall overboard 
with a crash. My men work with a mad earnestness. They 
know too well that every instant may be their last. Our main- 
sail already hoisted is sheeted home without a word or a cry. 
We are too near death to sing ! See ! See ! The wind fills 
the great sail ! We move. The waters seem to scent our escape. 
They are awaking to new fury. A deep rumble from the very 
bowels of the earth calls upon them to arouse from their 

They reach out for us. 

Too late! too late ! 

We sweep out of their reach. We are saved ! We are 
saved ! A shout goes up from two score throats, from which 
Fear now takes her hand ! 

Look back ! As if robbed of its prey, the whirlpool awakes 
with redoubled fury. 

A hundred arm-like streams of water gush forth and pour 
around our good ship in vain effort to draw her back into 
that terrible vortex. 

We are drenched with clouds of spray and mist, as we 
slowly but steadily keep on our course. Would that we were 
safe upon the swelling tide of the open sea, for there is still 
another danger to be met. 

Our channel suddenly narrows. I could toss a biscuit to 
the rocky wall, which shuts us in on both sides. 

Again a deep silence falls upon ship and crew, broken only 
by a strange sound of rushing waters, bursting out and dying 
away as regularly as the swing of a pendulum. ’Tis Thor’s 
Hammer, beating the frightened waters into foam, as it sways 
from side to side. 

In spite of my effort to appear calm, I can feel my heart beat 



A cold chill benumbs my hands. A glance ahead startles me 
like a blow from an unseen hand. There, with the morning 
sun resting on its hammer-shaped crest, swings that dreaded 
shaft of flinty rock, threatening instant destruction to any ship 
bold enough to attempt to pass it. 

In accordance with my orders, every sail on the coaster had 
been set, and her helm lashed, so as to pass to the right of 
Thor’s Hammer. 

“ Courage, men !” I cried. “ Stand by, all ! Cut away the 
lashings ! Cast off the tender !” 

Then waving my hand to the skipper, our mainsail came down 
with a run. Everything worked like a charm. Our ship 
slowed up, while the coaster shot ahead to her destruction. 
See, how gallantly the doomed craft speeds on her way ; for the 
breeze had freshened, and several gay streamers and flags, 
which my men had run up to the topmast, fluttered in the 
crisp morning air. 

There ! Did you not hear that crash ? 

Thor’s Hammer has struck her ! 

Blow follows blow ! 

Crash ! Crash ! Crash ! 

Now is our time, or never ! 

I was not caught napping. The moment we were clear 
of the coaster, I had ordered sails enough to be set to hold 
our ship steady on her course. 

Already we drew near to Thor’s Hammer, which is fast 
battering the coaster to a shapeless mass. The sea is filled 
with bits of plank and broken timber. Thor’s Hammer bends 
to its dread work of destruction, unmindful of our presence. 

What could withstand its terrible fury ? 

Those sturdy timbers yield like twigs. 

Another minute, and we have the monster and his victim in 
our wake ! 

Now, now, we’re passing him ! Our sails tremble from the 
very force of his breath ! Our deck is strewn with splinters ! 
The roar and crash are deafening. Thor’s Hammer bends for 
one last blow at the ribs and keel of its broken and disjointed 
victim ! 



Hurrah ! Hurrah ! 

Our good ship dips to the deep roll of the ocean’s breast ! 
We are on the open sea ! Port No Man’s Port, farewell ! 

As my men looked back at the rocky gateway and the grim 
sentinel of Port No Man’s Port, they tossed their caps into 
the air and sent up cheer after cheer. 

Bulger bounded about the deck, doing his best by most 
rigorous barking, to testify his admiration for his little 

The sailing-master drew near ; and, touching his cap and 
scratching the deck with the toe of his shoe, cried out gayly : 

“ Bravo ! little Baron. That was splendidly done ! I was 
sure we should never get through the shifting sands. And 
when they were passed, I was ready to swear the whirlpool 
would make short w T ork of us. But when we sailed safely 
out of that, I drew near the taffrail ready to jump overboard, 
for I felt that nothing could save us from a blow from Thor’s 
Hammer. I’ve grown wrinkled and gray facing the storms 
of Neptune’s domain, but I never felt I had a master until now.” 

I nodded and smiled, and quickly turned the conversation 
to some other topic. 

“ By the way, skipper,” said I, “ remember, the very moment 
we clear the English Channel, turn her head southward !” 

“ Ay ! ay ! little Baron ! ” was the reply. Calling Bulger 
to me I now went below. I wanted to be alone. The fact of 
the matter is, I needed rest. The terrible strain on my nerves 
caused by the hopes and fears of the past few days, began to 
tell upon me. 

Throwing myself upon a canopy, I fell into a deep sleep from 
which I was awakened by Bulger’s whining and crying. 

The sailing-master was anxiously feeling my pulse. 

I had slept three days and three nights. All this time 
Bulger had absolutely refused to leave my side or partake of 
food, although the skipper had tempted him with the daintiest 

His joys knew no bounds as I sprang up and shook myself into 



“ Where are we, master ?” I cried. 

“ On the broad Atlantic, headed dead south, little Baron ! ” 
was the answer. 

“ Good ! send me a rasher of bacon and some hard-tack. The 
Atlantic breeze has given me an appetite and, skipper,” 
I added, “a little broiled fowl for Bulger.” 

“And now, for the land of warmth and sunshine!” I mur- 
mured, “now for the home of the orange and the palm ! Cold 
winds like me not, I am a child of the tropics, born in a land 
where nature Avorks and man plays. No chill blast ever whistled 
its sad tune over my cradle ! Let those who will, spend one- 
half their lives waiting for mother Earth to wake from her 
Winter sleep ! Freeze the body and you freeze the brain. I 
am of those who love flowers better than snowflakes. Glorious 
South land ! I greet thee, thy child comes again to thy arms, 
oh, take him up kindly and lovingly ! ” 

* * * * 

Southward, ever southward my good ship sped along. By 
day I paced the deck to watch the dolphins at play or to observe 
Bulger’s amazement when a stray flying fish fell fluttering on 
deck ; by night, with my eyes fixed upon the blazing Southern 
Cross, I longed for the time to come when I should set foot 
upon some beautiful strand decked out with coral branch and 
shells of pearl, in whose limpid waters golden fish nestle mid 
sea plants of not less brilliant hue. 

It was now three weeks since the last murmur of Thor’s 
Hammer had fallen on our ears. 

My chronometer marked high noon. Every sail was set and 
our good ship careened as gracefully as a swallow that bent 
in its flight to touch the cool waters of some glassy lake. All 
of a sudden the wind fell, our ship stood still on the motionless 
sea, my pennant hung like a string. There was not air enough 
to lift the smoke from our galley fire. A strange mysterious 
stillness weighed upon the ship and sea. I knew too well what 
it betokened. One of those dreaded calms, more feared by the 
seamen that the buffeting gale, had overtaken us. 

Our ship stood like one moored to a marble wharf ! 


And as the thought flashed across my mind that days, ay even 
weeks might pass ere the winds would lift themselves again 
to bear us on our way, a feeling of utter listlessness came 
over me. It required a great exertion for me to throw it off. 

I dared not let my men see aught of discouragement in my 

And yet, it was a hard task. Had I not been made of stern 
stuff, I would have wept to see my progress stayed at the very 
moment victory was almost within my grasp. 

Again, as was the case, when the terrors of Port No Man’s 
Port rose, like demons of malignant might, to shut me forever 
in that rock-encircled basin, did my thoughts revert to home 
— to the elder baron and his gracious consort, my dear mother ; 
to the servants and retainers of the baronial hall ; to the 
villagers and tenantry. How, oh how should I be able to face 
them all, if I were forced to return home with the humiliating 
confession that my voyage had been a failure? 

Bulger was the first to catch a glimpse of the shadow on my 
brow. He turned his dark lustrous eyes full upon me so plead- 
ingly as if to say : “ Oh, little master, what aileth thee ? May 
I not do aught to drive the dark melancholy from thy face ? 
Thou knowest how I love thee. Teach me to help thee. My 
life is thine. Thy grief weighs like lead on my heart. Speak 
to me little master ! ” Tenderly and lovingly I stroked his head, 
and spoke in softest tones to him. He was rejoiced, but still 
he sat and watched me, for it was impossible to deceive him by 
feigning to be lighthearted and unconcerned. 

The second week found us lying like a log in a millpond, our 
sails unvisited by the faintest breath of air ; the sea sunken into 
a sleep that seemed like death. Despair sat on the faces of my 
men. “ Rouse thee, little baron ! ” I murmured to myself as I 
paced my cabin floor, “ where is thy boasted cunning ? Where is 
thy vaunted wisdom ? Nevermore say that thou art a man of 
projects, quick to devise, and quick to perform ! Thou hast lost 
thy hold on the spoke of fortune’s wheel!” 

“ Thinkest thou so ? ” cried I in answer to my own thoughts. 

“ Follow me, we shall see !” With a bound I cleared the gang 


5 '< 

way. The sailing-master lay asleep on the deck. The men in 
groups, here and there, looked the very picture of despair,. 
Rousing the skipper with a vigorous tug at his belt, aided by 
Bulger’s frantic outburst of barking, I called out : 

“ Avast! there, skipper. Asleep from overwork? Pipe 
all hands on deck ! ” The men came up in lively fashion, 
greatly amused by my cut at the sailing-master, who stood rub- 
bing his eyes, half dazed by my sudden outburst. “ Send me 
the ships carpenter ! ” I continued ; and catching mp a piece of 
chalk I drew the plan of a large box or chest, nearly as long 
as our ship’s breadth of beam, and gave the carpenter directions 
to build it of the strongest planks to be had on board. He and 
his assistants were soon at work. 

Turning then to the cook I ordered him to kill the pigs and 
fowls we had shipped for our own supply of fresh meat, bid- 
ding him to be careful and not lose a drop of the blood. 

These orders fairly drove my men wild with curiosity. 

The sailing-master drew near and attempted to get some 
explanation from me but in vain. I was too deep in thought to 

The long box was ready in a few hours. Word now went up 
that I was about to abandon the ship and strive to reach land by 
rowing, and that this long box was to hold the provisions. 

The sailing-master again fixed his gaze inquiringly upon me. 
I pretended not to notice his beseeching looks. The cook by this 
time had the fresh meat in readiness. Under my directions 
it was all transferred to the long chest, the blood poured over 
it, and the box securely closed with a heavy plate-glass lid, 
made up of several pieces shipped for the purpose of restoring- 
broken lights. By this time the men had grown so excited over 
this mysterious box and its still more mysterious contents, that I 
was obliged to order them to fall back so that the carpenter 
and his assistants might go on with their work without in- 

The next step was to weight the long chest with lead and to 
attach hoisting tackle to each end by strong iron rings. When 
all was ready I called out to my men to stand by and lower it 



over the stern rail. Stationed so that I could watch the lower- 
ing of the long box, I was careful to sink it about three feet 
under water and then lash it firmly to the ship’s stern. I had 
scarcely given the word to lower away on all the sails when the 
ship began to move ! The effect on my men was indescribable. 
Some turned pale and stood as if transfixed with fear. Others 
laughed in a wild maniac-like way. Others, who had their wits 
about them, rushed to the stern taffrail to fathom the mystery. 

A glance was enough ! 

It was a simple thing after all. 

Gradually the others recovered their reason, and hastened 
to join their companions and gaze down into the waters where 
I had lashed the long box, with its glass lid and strange con- 
tents. Meanwhile our good ship moved faster and faster 
through the sluggish, listless waters. A ringing cheer, three 
times repeated, went up when the mystery was fully solved. 

Mystery ? 

Hear then what this mystery consisted of ! 

In the first days of this dead calm, which settled like a ter- 
rible blanket spread over us by the hands of some unseen mon- 
ster, to check our advance, I had noticed that the waters 
swarmed with sharks of extraordinary length ; that these 
fierce demons of the deep hung about our vessel in shoals of 
countless numbers, attracted by the garbage thrown overboard, 
and, doubtless, too, by the odor of the many living beings on 
board the ship. 

When, at times, a particularly large supply of garbage fell 
into the water, so fierce was the onslaught of these ravenous 
monsters, that they actually jarred the ship as they struck 
against its sides or stern, locked together like advancing 
cohorts of trained soldiery. 

Upon this hint I acted. If, as I reasoned, I can only con- 
trol this now wild force, why may I not make use of it to 
rescue my ship from a worse danger than raging storm ? 
For far better would it be to face the howling blast and foam- 
crested wave than to perish from thirst, chained to the open 
sea by this breathless calm. 



Now, however, all was changed. 

On, on, our good ship went, with ever-increasing speed, glid- 
ing noiselessly and swiftly through the mirror -like waters. My 
device worked far better than I had dared to dream, for, as 
the fresh blood began to trickle through the crevices of the 
long box, the ravenous sea monsters were almost maddened 
by its smell and taste. The largest and fiercest pressed for- 
ward in serried ranks, tossing their smaller companions high 
in the air, as they took up their places with wild and eager 
search for prey which lured them on, ever so near them, and 
still ever beyond their reach. 

No sooner did the foremost ranks of this army of myrmidons 
of the deep show signs of fatigue than long lines of fresh and 
eager recruits darted forward, hurling their exhausted fellows 
right and left, like bits of cork, and took up the task of fol- 
lowing the ever-retreating prey, which, although giving out 
its life blood, and plainly visible to them, yet seemed to know 
no tiring, and sped onward, and ever onward before the wild, 
tumultuous attack of thir pushing, plunging cohorts ! 

The moon now shone like a plate of burnished silver on the 
blue walls of heaven, and the deep silence of the sleeping 
waters was broken by the splash of those mighty bodies, 
glistening in her light, as they toiled and struggled to urge our 
vessel on its way. 

I could not sleep. 

Wrapped in a woolen cloak, to shield me from the insidious 
dews of the tropics, I threw myself on deck, with Bulger’s 
head pillowed on my lap. 

Something whispered to me that if those hunger-stricken 
marauders of the deep would only keep to their task till the 
morning sun streaked the east, my cheek would feel the breath 
of coming winds. 

And so it turned out. With the first glimmer of daylight 
I caught sight of a ripple on the lake-like bosom of the ocean. 
At that very moment, too, I noticed that our ship was slowing 
up. I sprang up on the taffrail. Lo ! our allies had abandoned 
us. Not a single follower of that riotous camp was in sight! 



Ah, little did they dream how they had saved ship and crew ! 
How limitless is man's selfishness ! The beasts of the 
field, the monsters of the deep must minister to his pleasure, 
obey his commands. I had pointed out the ripple in the water 
and when the first sturdy breath of wind reached us we were in 
readiness to receive it. Every sail was set. 

My heart leaped with joy as our ship drew up to the wind, 
obeying her helm like a thing of life ! 

And that was the way I saved my ship and crew from a 
worse danger than storm-lashed billows. From this time on, 
all went well. Scarcely a week had gone by when I was 
startled by a cry which sounded sweeter to my ears than 
voice of monarch to courtier. 

“ Land ho ! Dead ahead ! ” 

Seizing my glass I sprang up into the main-shrouds, and 
turned my gaze in the direction indicated. Ay, true it was ! 
There it lay before us, rising from the ocean with gentle slope, 
its heights crowned with trees of many-colored foliage, its 
shores ending in long stretches of snow-white beach. 

Above the unknown land hung a purple mist of a deep rich 
tint, like the cheek of a ripe plum. As we drew near a land- 
locked harbor seemed to welcome us. Not a sound or sign of life, 
however, came to break the deep repose which enveloped the 
bay and shore. 

Slowly and in stately bearing our good ship sailed into the 
harbor and cast anchor. The radiant beauty of the land now 
burst upon me. Ten thousand shells of pearly tints and hues 
glistened on the white sands, while in the limpid waters, sea- 
flowers and foliage of deepest crimson swayed gently with the 
tide. Up the sloping banks nature seemed to be holding high 
carnival. No shrub or bush or tree was content to wear simple 
green. Each waved some blossom of richest radiance in the 
soft and balmy air. Here and there, a brooklet came tumbling 
down the hillside, rippling, purling and splashing over the 
moss-grown rocks in its bed. The air was heavy with the 
fragrance of this vast garden so beautiful and yet so silent 
and deserted. 



The next day, leaving my sailing-master in command, I set 
out on a tramp, accompanied solely by my faithful Bulger. My 
idea was to see if this island, for such I thought it 10 be, con- 
tained anything quaint and curious. The further I advanced 
into the interior of this fair land of bright flowers, purling 
brooks, clear skies and perfumed air, the more was I astonished 
to And that neither vine, shrub, brush, nor tree bore any berry 
or fruit to feed upon ; and though it was just such a land of 
brooks, flowers and balmy air as some dweller of' the faraway 
North might dream about; yet was it untrodden by the foot of 
man, for, rare indeed is it that the people of the tropics are 
willing to prepare any other food for themselves than that 
which nature spreads before them. 

I now began to be thankful that I had supplied myself plenti- 
fully with dried fruits before leaving my ship to set out for 
a tour of the island, for such it seemed to me to be. 

At this moment Bulger halted, and raising his nose in the 
air, sniffed hard and long, and then fixed his dark eyes on me 
as much as to say: “Take care, little master, some sort of 
living creatures are approaching ! ” I had hardly time to draw 
one o i my pistols and give a hasty glance at its priming when 
with strange cries and stranger movements a dozen or more 
beings of the human species sprang out of the thicket with 
noiseless steps, and surrounded us. I raised the fire-arm, which 
I held grasped in my right hand, ready to stop the advance of 
this band of most curious creatures, by slaying their leader ; 
for, judging by the forbidding aspect of their faces and the 
terrible condition of their bodies, apparently reduced by the 
dread pangs of hunger, to mere sacks of skin hung on frames 
of bone, which methought rattled at every step they took, I 
anticipated an instant attempt on their part to strike us down 
and eat us. 

But I was very quickly reassured. First, by the fact that 
they bore no weapons of any kind; and second, by the softness 
of their voices and the walkingbeam-like motions of their 
bodies, which I interpreted to mean a sort of welcome mingled 
with a desire to make friends with a human being so different 







from themselves. Although I gave them to understand, or tried 
to do so, by imitating the ducking motion of their heads, fol- 
lowed by an attempt to equal their performance in making a 
large number of very low bows, so graceful and easy that they 
would have done credit to a French dancing master, that they 
had nothing to fear, yet they continued to back away from me 
as fast as I advanced. Bulger was somewhat surprised at my 
eagerness to make friends with such a starved-out looking set 
of creatures and kept up a furious growling, eying them sus- 
piciously as they continued the walkingbeam motion of their 
bodies all the while backing away from me. 

I now found myself in front of a group of umbrella shaped 
bamboo huts into which most of them had retreated. With no 
little difficulty was it that I finally succeeded in coaxing them 
forth and convincing them that my intentions were perfectly 
peaceful. For a quarter of an hour or more, they circled about 
me in silent wonder, while I, on my part, gazed in speechless 
astonishment at these extraordinary looking specimens of our 
race. W T hat they thought of me, you will learn as my story goes 
on, but how shall I ever describe them to you so as to give you 
even a faint idea of their wonderful appearance. 

Imagine skeletons of rather small stature walking about, 
with collapsed meal bags hung upon them, skin hanging down in 
folds everywhere, flapping about at every step and you’ll have 
some faint conception of the utterly ridiculous and grotesque 
look of these beings. 

Almost every bone in their bodies was visible beneath this 
thin covering. Their cheeks hung like two empty pouches on 
each side of their faces, their noses stuck out like knife-blades. 
Deep wrinkles and creases crossed and criss-crossed their 
faces, giving them a look of terrible melancholy and utter 

With their skeleton fingers ever and anon they grasped a 
fold of skin and smoothed it out or pushed it elsewhere as one 
might a loosely fitting garment. And yet, utterly wTetched and 
melancholy as these creatures seemed to be to the eye of the 
looker-on, their voices were light and gay, and soft as flute notes. 



They chatted and laughed among themselves, were full of mis- 
chief and pointed their pencil fingers at different parts of Bul- 
ger’s and my body with evident enjoyment at the sight of things 
so new and strange to them. Several times while gazing upon 
these mournful and woebegone looking faces and at the same 
time listening to their happy and childlike chatter, I broke out 
into a peal of laughter which was not only very ill-bred, but 
which invariably had the effect of causing them to fall back in 

Gradually, however, they grew bolder, and by means of a 
kind of sign language, gave me to understand that they desired 
to touch me. By recourse to the same common language of 
mankind, I informed them that I should be only too happy to 
gratify their requests and proceeded to lay bare my breast and 
roll up the sleeves of my coat. They half repented of their 
foolhardiness, and crowding together, interlocked their arms 
and legs in such a manner that, to save my life, I couldn’t tell 
where one commenced and the other ended. 

But after a few moment’s coaxing, I succeeded in persuading 
them to advance and lay their hands upon me. 

Loud outcries followed exclamations of wonder and aston- 
ishment. As I afterwards learned the words they uttered 
meant : “ Lump !” “ Chunk !” “ Stone !” “ Hard !” “Solid !” 

At this moment, feeling a little bit hungry, I opened my sack 
of dried fruit and thrust several pieces into my mouth. 

And now came a still more furious outburst of wonder, 
mingled with cries of horror and disgust. Again they re- 
treated and tied themselves into a knot. 

Can it be, I asked myself, that these creatures never touch 
solid food ? 

Observing now that they were consulting among themselves 
as to what course to pursue in regard to me, and being afraid 
that they might take it into their heads to escape into the 
thicket, for they were as quick in their movements as sprites 
and phantoms, I lost no time in making them understand that 
I desired to be led into the presence of their King or ruler. 

This seemed to please them. But with many duckings of 



tlieir heads, they withdrew a short distance, and held a sort of 
pow-wow. After which, one of their number, who seemed to 
be a sort of leader among them, and whose name, as I after - 
warns learned, was Go- Whizz, advanced toward me with numer- 
ous low-bendings of his body, and succeeded in informing me 
that their chief lived at a great distance from where we 
were, and that it w r ould be necessary for me to remain here 
wdiile they returned to their ruler to ask his permission to 
conduct me to him. ' 

I readily consented to such an arrangement. 

Go-Whizz then led me to one of their dwellings, pointed out 
a bed of nice dry rushes, and invited me to make myself com- 
fortable until he should come again to conduct me into' the 
presence of their chief, Ztwish-Ztwish, as was the name he 

Bulger and I didn’t wait for a second bidding, for we were 
tired to the bone after our long tramp. With half a dozen or 
more bows, quite as low as those made by Go-Whizz and his 
companions, I began to make ready for a night’s rest. 

For a moment or so, I stood watching the retreating figures 
of these extraordinary people who, in single file, swiftly and 
noiselessly, like so many phantoms, had flitted away from the 
spot. Then throwing myself dow T n on the bed of rushes, called 
out to Bulger to lie down by me. But he was not so trustful 
as I, and after caressing my hands, took up his position at 
the door of the dwelling, so as to save his little master from 
any treachery on the x^art of the x^hantom x>eox)le. 

Day now went out suddenly, like a lamx) quenched by the 

Bulger refused to sleep. 

But I, sheltered from the night dews by this thickly-thatched 
roof, soon fell into a deep and refreshing sleep, out of which 
Bulger found it difficult to arouse me, for I have a faint recol- 
lection of having felt him scratching at my arm for several 
moments, ere I could shake off the fetters of sleep, which held 
me bound so tightly. 

Sitting up hastily, I discovered that Bulger was patrolling 



the floor in a state of great excitement, pausng ever and anon 
to sniff the morning air, which, it was plain to be seen, brought 
him a warning of some kind. Instantly it occurred to me that 
wild beasts were prowling about in the neighborhood. I exam- 
ined the priming of my fire-arms. Bulger looked well pleased 
to see that I was thoroughly aroused as to the threatening 

He now grew bolder, and springing out into the open air, 
made a circuit of the dwelling, only to return with bristling 
hair, and growling out his suspicion that all was not right. 

His ever-increasing anxiety now began to cause me genuine 
alarm. I was upon the very point of making a hasty retreat 
to my vessel, when the thought flashed through my mind : 
“ What ! escape these swift-footed phantoms ? It were idle 
to attempt it ! ” So I determined to take my chances, come 
what might. 

The hut was strongly built and its roof would at least pro- 
tect us from a flight of poisoned arrows. 

While I was occupied in making a hasty survey of the place, 
a loud outcry from Bulger startled me. I gave one look and a 
shiver of fear zigzagged through my body. 

An armed band was full in sight. 

With fierce shouts, deep and rumbling, they came nearer and 
nearer. Their massive forms swayed from side to side. Their 
huge limbs, moved like walking oaks. Their arms seemed the 
sturdy branches ending in hands which, in the dim morning 
light, took the shape of gnarled and knotted knobs ; terrific 
strength was shadowed forth by their broad and heavy should- 
ers. One blow from a hand of such sledge hammer weight 
would lay a frail creature like me helpless in the dust ! 

Bulger, brave as he was, quailed at the sight. In an instant I 
collected my thoughts and breathed a last goodbye to the elder 
baron and to the gentle baroness, my mother, in their faraway 
home beneath the northern skies. 

Now they had reached the very doorway, and stood beating 
their huge chests and giving forth deep rumbling sounds. 

Instinctively I unsheathed my poniard and brandished it in 
the air. 



The effect was astounding ! 

With terrific cries, groans and shouts they fell back in the 
wildest terror, rolling over each other, bounding asunder like 
gigantic footballs, striking the earth and bounding into an erect 

When at last these human air-bags settled down into something 
like rest, one of their number broke out into the most plaintive 
and beseeching speech which, I afterwards learned, had about 
the following meaning : u O, Master : O, Magician FO, Mysterious 
Lump ! O, Impenetrable Chunk ! put away that dread instru- 
ment ! Prick us not with its awful point, pierce not our delicate 
skins. The slightest touch from that frightful biade Avould cause 
our bodies to burst like pricked balloons ! Fear us not. We are 
thy friends. We come to conduct thee to our great chief, Ztwish- 
Ztwish. I am Go-Whizz, thy slave. ” 

Suddenly the truth broke in upon my wondering mind. 
There was no falsehood in the speaker’s words. It w T as Go- 
Whizz ! The others were his companions — the wretched Avoe- 
begone bags of bones w ho had parted with me only the day 

With a smile and gentle wave of the hand, I hastily returned 
my dagger to its sheath and gave Go-Whizz to understand that 
he had nothing to fear from me. Half crazed Avith curiosity l 
now r advanced to take a closer look at Go-Whizz and his com- 
panions. Sober fact is it w r hen I tell you that they were, man 
for man, the self same beings I first fell in with on my starting 
out to explore the island. 

But this wonderful change you ask ? How had they in one 
short night grown to such herculean build — arms and limbs as 
massive as those of Japanese wrestlers. 

I reply it w^as all air! W T hen I first met these gentlemen 
they had not dined. Noav they had just come from a hearty 
meal. For, you must know that I Avas iioav in the land of the 
wonderful Wind Eaters ! When the air is calm and the winds 
asleep, these curious people are obliged to fast, and, their skins 
hang in wrinkled bags as I have described ; but when the wind 
starts up for a mad frolic or even a gentle puff and bloAV, these 



strange creatures at once begin to increase in size, and not 
long is it before every wrinkle and crease disappear like magic. 

As Go- Whizz and his companion stood before me, I was 
struck by the ridiculous contrast between their voices and the 
expression of their faces. Yesterday, with their fierce and 
forbidding faces their voices were soft and flute-like ; to-day, 
their voices were terrible, deep and rumbling, while their faces 
now puffed out smooth and round seemed wreathed in smiles 
and good humor. 

As I stood lost in wonder at the sight of these strangely- 
transformed beings, Go- Whizz rumbled out something which I 
easily understood to be a request that I should permit him to 
conduct me to the residence of his great chief, Ztwish-Ztwish. 

I smiled assent and set about gathering up my traps. 

Bulger was completely nonplussed and fixed his lustrous eyes 
upon me as much as to say : 

“ Dear little master, how canst thou trust thyself to these 
huge mountains of flesh, a single one of whom could crush thy 
frail body as easily as I would a mouse ? ” 

I gave him a few caresses and stroked his silken coat, to let 
him know I was sure that I was right. Go- Whizz and his band, 
clumsy as they seemed, were by no means slow of pace. They 
moved forward at a brisk rate for the air was calm and they had 
little to carry. Now and then, upon bumping together, they 
bounded apart like rubber balls. It was a difficult thing for 
me to keep from laughing, especially when I saw Bulger’s look 
of utter perplexity. He rolled his eyes up at me in the most 
comical manner. However, at last we entered the village of the 
Wind Eaters, where the great chief, Ztwish-Ztwish held his 

He too was puffed out pretty round, although, as I afterwards 
learned, the laws of the land did not allow him to eat as heartily 
as his subjects. Here and there a wrinkle was visible. His 
face and arms didn’t have that look of puffy tightness common 
to his people after a hearty meal. He had already been fully 
informed of my arrival on his island, and of my extraordinary 
weight and hardness for my size. 



It took about fifteen of the Wind Eaters to balance me in the 

Chief Ztwish-Ztwish received Bulger and me with the great- 
est kindness. I was at once presented to his ministers of state 
and to the members of his famiiy. Queen Phew-Yoo was a very 
stately dame, dignified and reserved in her manners j but the 
little princess Pouf-fah charmed me with her childlike curiosity. 

Their excellencies, the ministers of state, stood behind their 
master and seemed intent upon giving him far more advice than 
he was willing to listen to. Their names were Hiss-sah, Whirr- 
Whirr and Sh-Boom. 

You may well imagine the excitement created in the home of 
chief Ztwish-Ztwish by my arrival. From the highest to the 
lowest, from chief to serving-man, everyone begged and 
implored to be allowed to feel of me. 

Anxious to make a favorable impression upon the strange peo- 
ple so that I might have a good opportunity to study them at 
my ease, I submitted good-naturedly for an hour or more, to 
being patted, pinched, prodded, rubbed, and stroked. 

It were vain for me to attempt to give you any idea of the 
thousand and one outcries of surprise, delight, wonder, fear, 
anxiety, and dread which went up from this multitude of 
strange beings, who were, although they didn’t seem to think 
so, quite as great curiosities to me as I to them. 

My stock of dried fruit was now quite exhausted and I began 
to feel the gnawings of hunger. 

I was always blest with a splendid appetite and the pure brac- 
ing air of this island only added to it. Bulger, too, I could see, 
was casting inquiring glances about in search of some signs of 
kitchen arrangements. I made known to chief Ztwish-Ztwish, 
as well as I could, the state of affairs, and he at once summoned 
Hiss-sah, Whirr- Whirr and Sh-Boom to his side for a consulta- 

They held a most animated discussion and one too, which ran 
from quarter hour to quarter hour without any sign of coming 
to an end. 

All this time my poor stomach was wondering what had cut 
off the customary supplies. 



Like rulers the world over, chief Ztwish-Ztwish was inpatient 
and self-willed. Finally he lost his temper completely and 
moved about so vigorously that his three ministers were kept 
continually on the bounce, so to speak. 

If you can only wait long enough every thing comes to an end. 
I was finally bidden to approach the chief, who asked me 
whether I had, since my arrival on his island, seen anything 
which I could eat ? 

I was obliged to confess that I had not. Whereupon there 
was another consultation, which ended in Ztwish-Ztwish seizing 
his cork-wood club and sending each one of his ministers in 
a different direction, with three quick smart blows. The sight 
was so ludicrous that I would willingly have let my dinner go 
for a chance at the bat myself. 

Suddenly an idea came to me. I could see that this settle- 
ment of the Wind Eaters was not far from the seashore. So, 
as best I could, I made chief Ztwish-Ztwish comprehend that I 
could eat the oysters and other shell fish, of which I had noticed 
vast quantities lying on the white sands of the ocean. 

When the thing was made thoroughly plain to them that I 
proposed to satisfy my hunger by devouring such horrid and 
disgusting creatures as lived between these shells, I was really 
alarmed at the consternation it caused. 

Queen Phew-yoo and and princess Pouf-fall were taken ill and 
withdrew to their apartments in great haste, while one and all, 
even including the fierce Go -Whizz, were seized with symptoms 
of nausea. By degrees, however, they recovered and orders 
were issued to half a dozen serving-men who, not being gorged, 
were in good marching condition to set out for the shore, and 
bring a supply of the shell-fish to appease my hunger, which, by 
this time had really set its teeth in my vitals. 

Meanwhile Bulger and I were conducted to a neat bamboo 
dwelling with an umbrella-shaped roof, and left to ourselves 
until the supply of food should arrive. 

I was too hungry to sleep. And, Bulger, too, was in the same 
condition. But he was patience itself, as he always is, when 
he knows that his little master is suffering. 



I threw myself down on a heap of dried rushes and my loving 
companion came and pillowed his head on my arm. 

After a tedious wait of an hour or so a great outcry told me 
that something unusual had happened in the village of the Wind- 

It was the arrival of the serving-men bringing the supply of 

I could hardly restrain myself until chief Ztwish-Ztwish 
should summon me to break my long fast. 

When I reached the chief’s quarters I found a vast crowd of 
people assembled to see the “Lump Man” put solid things 
down his throat. 

Chief Ztwish-Ztwish and his court occupied front seats. 

As you know by this time the voice of a Wind Eater depends 
upon the condition he is in. If he has just eaten and his body 
is rounded out like a well-filled balloon, his voice is deep and 
rumbling; if, on the other hand, he has not taken food for 
a day or so and his skin hangs in folds and wrinkles on his frame 
work of bones, he speaks with a soft, flute-like tone. 

As I stepped to the front, followed by Bulger, and took my 
place beside the heap of oysters, a deafening outcry went up, 
in which the deep roars of the inflated Wind Eaters were 
mingled with the soft flute-like tones of the fasting ones. Not 
noticing any instrument at hand with which to pry the shells 
open I thoughtlessly drew my poniard from its sheath. In 
an instant a terrible panic seized upon the assembled multi- 
tude. Queen Pliew-yoo and princess Pouf-fah fell into a swoon. 
Chief Ztwish-Ztwish being in a fasting condition darted away 
to his apartments like a phantom. The ministers of state, Hiss- 
sah, Whirr-Whirr and Sh-Boom, being puffed up to their full- 
est capacity, struck the ground with their feet and rolled out 
of the w T ay like huge footballs. 

Quick as thought I sheathed my dagger, the sight of vfliose 
glittering point had brought about all this consternation ; and, 
profiting by the lessons given me at our first meeting by 
Go-Wliizz and his companions, I began a series of head-duck- 
ings and walking-beam motions of my body, which soon restored 
confidence in my peaceful intentions and brought my scattered 


audience back to their seats. Go-Whizz, who had run the 
farthest, was now loudest in his boasts that he had not been 
the least frightened. Chief Ztwish-Ztwish resumed his seat 
with considerable nerve, but I noticed that he kept his eyes 
fastened on the place where I had hidden my dagger in my 
belt. Although the sight of the toothsome oysters only served 
to whet my appetite, yet was I now terribly perplexed to know 
how I should pry the shells open, for the laws of the land of 
the Wind-Eaters visited the death penalty upon any one found 
with a sharp-pointed instrument in his possession. 

In earliest childhood the finger-nails are kept pared down to 
the flesh, until they lose their power to grow hard, and their 
place is taken by a piece of tough skin. 

Teeth — the Wind-Eaters have none ; or, more correctly 
speaking, their teeth do not grow above their gums. Nature 
seemed to have gradually ceased taking the trouble to supply 
these people with something for which they had absolutely no 

You must bear in mind that these curious people had riot 
always been satisfied with such thin diet. In ancient times- 
so chief Ztwish-Ztwish informed me, their ancestors had been 
fruit-eaters ; the fruits, however, failing, they had been forced 
to have recourse to the gums which flowed from the trees, and 
as these gradually dried up, they made discovery that the vari- 
ous winds which blew across the island were filled with some 
invisible germs or particles, which had the power of sustaining 

To resume : Observing a flint hatchet lying on the ground, 
I laid hold of it and set to work opening one of the largest 
oysters. A deep silence settled upon the assemblage. With 
a skilful twist, I wrenched the upper shell off, and, raising the 
lower one, upon which the fat and luscious creature lay unmind- 
ful of his impending fate, I opened my mouth and gracefully 
let the dainty morsel slip out of sight ! A hundred cries of 
half horror, half wonder broke like a great chorus from the 
surrounding crowds of Wind Eaters. Again and again this 
outburst died away, only to break forth once more with 
redoubled vigor. 



Many of the lookers-on were made so seriously ill by this — 
to thein— most extraordinary spectacle, that they hastily left 
the place before I was able to take a second mouthful. 

'S ou may fancy how they felt. About as you would were 
I to begin gulping down bits of stone and iron. 

Queen Phew-yoo clung timorousl} T to her husband’s arm ; but 
the princess Pouf-fah stepped boldly nearer to me, so that she 
might have a better view of the “ little man solid all through.” 
Again I raised one of the largest shells and let its occupant 
slip noiselessly down my throat, not forgetting each time to 
loosen the white muscle which held the shells together for 
Bulger’s share of the feast. 

Gradually the qualms of the Wind Eaters, at sight of a 
human being swallowing food in lumps, gave place to a devour- 
ing curiosity on their part to draw nearer and get a better 
view of my manner of satisfying hunger. 

I could understand enough to know that many of the Wind 
Eaters had serious doubts that I really swallowed the oysters. 

To them, I was little less than some sort of a sleight-of-hand 
man or doer of tricks. 

The little princess Pouf-fah mounted upon one of the 
benches, and the instant the oyster disappeared down my throat 
insisted upon my opening my mouth to its greatest width, in 
order that she might take a look for herself and see if the 
oyster were not hidden away under my tongue or in my cheek 

A sudden scream of terror startled the lookers-on as much 
as it did me. 

The little princess was carried away in a swoon. 

It was my teeth! They had frightened the gentle Pouf-fah 
half to death. 

For a moment all was confusion. Encouraged by Go-Whizz, 
many of the W ind Eaters seized their clubs and pressed for- 
ward with murderous intent. The reappearance of princess 
Pouf-fah, bright and smiling, set everything right again. 

Now the crowd was seized with unconquerable curiosity to 
draw near and take a look for themselves at the terrible thing 
which had thrown Pouf-fah into a swoon. 



My jaws soon began to ache from stretching my mouth wide 
enough open to give each one of them a glance at my double row 
of ivory cutters and grinders, and if I do say it myself, I had in 
those days one of the finest sets of teeth that ever cut their way 
through a slice of Menburg biscuit, or ground up a piece of 
German roast goose. 

From now on, these child-like and simple-minded people 
became pretty thoroughly convinced that the “ Little Man Thick 
All Through ” was a kind and peaceful creature and every way 
perfectly harmless. 

The children flocked about me, and encouraged by my smiles 
and head-duckings soon made friends with me. 

I was glad of this, for I was anxious to make a close study 
of the Wind Eaters young and old. 

You may judge of my surprise when I saw a bevy of these 
children — animated puff-balls that they were — engaged in the 
to them, novel sport of rushing full tilt at me and bouncing off 
like rubber balls from a board fence. 

Well, I suppose you are bursting with curiosity to hear some- 
thing more definite about these strange people. 

To me they were not entirely unknown. I had read here 
and there ancient books of travel by Arabian authors, of some 
such a race ; whose bodies were so frail that they were unable 
to partake of any stronger and heavier food than the sweet 
gums which flowed from the trees and whose skins were so 
transparnt that they were called “ glass-bodied,” the beating of 
their little hearts being plainly visible to the eye of the beholder. 
I have no doubt that these authors referred to the dwellers 
of this wonderful island, on which no fruits, berries or edible 
roots were to be found, and whose ancestors, as I was informed 
by chief Ztwish-Ztwish, did, in former ages, thus sustain their 
lives. But I must confess that the fact that there were in 
existence human beings who literally lived upon air ; or, more 
correctly speaking, upon winds laden with some invisible par- 
ticles of life-sustaining matter, was a little more than I had 
ever dared to dream out, even in the most active workings of 
my imagination. You may judge then of my delight upon find- 



ing mvself among these extraordinary people, and upon dis- 
covering them to he such true children of nature, mild-mannered 
and peacefully -inclined. 

And yet I was not long in making a discovery which proved 
to he quite an important one to me. 

It was this. I learned that although the truth was as I have 
stated it, that the Wind Eaters are as a rule, a race of peace- 
loving creatures, gentle in their dispositions and averse to 
wrong-doing, yet there were exceptions to this general rule. 
Strange to say, it depended on what wind they fed upon. 

All the women, for instance, were gentleness itself. They 
fed upon the soft zephyrs of the south. Hut the great majority 
of these people contented themselves with satisfying their 
hunger hy resorting to the strong and wholesome west wind ; 
while a goodly number, from some idea that it had a sweeter 
and more delicate flavor, a sort of heavy, nut-like taste, pre- 
ferred the fitful, irregular east wind. It was however not 
considered wholesome diet by the best physicians of the nation 
and they contended that those who made a habit of feeding upon 
this wind were never as hale and hearty as those who restricted 
themselves entirely to the nutritious and bracing west wind. 

A few there were — as in every land there are those who 
delight in strong, rich food, who insisted upon feeding on the 
rugged, gusty north-west wind, claiming that it was best suited 
to their wants, and that nature had intended man to partake of 
a wind powerful and strong-bodied, in order to fit them for the 
battle of life. There were even some — a very few, be it said 
to the honor of these mild-mannered and peace-loving people, 
who, contrary to the laws of the land and the express commands 
of chief Ztwish-Ztwish, welcomed the blowing of the angry 
whistling, boisterous north-wind, and drank in the dangerous 
fluid until their better natures were completely changed; and 
from being gentle, timorous and peace-loving, they became 
rough, and quarrelsome. 

To this ilk belonged Captain Go-Whizz. In fact, as I 
was told by Whirr-Whirr, chief Ztwish-Ztwish himself showed 
signs of fear when he saw Go-Whizz come swaggering into the 



village, his eyes inflamed, his steps unsteady, his speech in- 
distinct after a heavy meal upon the rude and buffeting wind 
of the north. While in this condition Go-Whizz lost the slight 
control he had over himself and had, upon one occasion, so far 
forgotten himself as to breathe out threats and defiance against 
chief Ztwish-Ztwish, driving that ruler out of his own apart- 
ments, by advancing upon him with a bit of flint which he had 
ground to a dangerously sharp point. 

Such were the curious people among whom I now found 
myself sojourning and on terms of pleasant intimacy with 
their ruler. 

A few days after my arrival at the village of the Wind 
Eaters, I was, unfortunately the innocent cause of rather a 
grave accident, which, for a while had the effect of making me 
somewhat unpopular at the court of chief Ztwish-Ztwish. 

It all came about in this way : 

I’ve already told you how quick the children were to discover 
the solidity of my body and what delight they took in throwing 
themselves against me full tilt, in order to have the sport of 
bouncing off again like so many rubber balls. 

Now you must keep in mind the fact that even after a hearty 
meal, a whole dozen of these babies weighed about one good 

I used to encourage them to play about me, in order the better 
to observe their curious tricks and ways, one of which was to 
lock arms and legs and thus form a chain of human links, one 
of which being fastened to a peak of the roof and the other 
possibly to some high staff or pole, iat times even extending 
across the street and ending on the roof of the opposite dwell- 
ing. Thus festooned they spent hours swaying to and fro in the 
cool of the day, often swinging themselves to sleep. And it 
was not at all an unusual thing to see one of the mothers in 
search of her child come bustling along, halt, take down the 
line of living links, unhook her baby, replace the line and hurry 
away home. 

While seated, one day, on the balcony of one of chief Ztwish- 
Ztwish’s cottages, a dozen or more of the children set to work 



to form such, a chain, one end of it being fastened to one of my 
earrings which, like a good sailor, I took pleasure in wearing at 
times, and the other reaching nearly to the ground, passing over 
the high rail of the balcony. 

Scrambling, pushing and squirming, uttering the queerest cries, 
shouts and squeals, these tiny Wind Eaters were half wild with 
joy, when suddenly one of those nearest me swung against the 
point of a needle which I had, doubtlessly, thrust into the lapel 
of my coat the last time I had been doing some mending, for, 
like a true sailor, I was skilled in the use of needle and thread. 

I was aroused from my dreamy contemplation of these fan- 
tastic beings by a sharp crack like that made by the bursting of 
a toy balloon. 

Again and again the same sharp noise rang in my ear. 

A glance was sufficient to explain it all. I could feel my hair 
bristling up with horror as I saw the living links of this chain 
snap asunder, one after the other, and disappear into thin air. 
Exploded by coming into contact with the needle point, the 
force of the explosion of the first of these tiny puff-balls of 
humanity had been sufficient to burst the baby next in the line 
and so on to the end of the chain ! 

A dozen of them gone in less than as many seconds and 
not so much as a lock of hair to carry home to the heart broken 
mothers ! 

In a few moments, the news of the accident had spread to 
every quarter of the village. The weeping, shrieking mothers, 
howling for vengeance, gathered quickly about the dwelling 
into the interior of which Bulger and I had retreated. 

Now you may believe me when I say, that I would not have 
stood in the least dread of an army of the Wind Eaters, when 
they were fully inflated after a hearty meal, but it so happened 
that the air had been calm for a day or so, and that many of 
them were now shrunken to the living skeleton size in which I 
had first met them. In this condition they were foes not to be 
despised, for, moving as they did, with almost lightning rapid- 
ity, their mode of fighting was to entangle their enemy in fine 
nets, woven of bamboo fibre and then beat them to death with 
their clubs. 



True, these clubs were made of corkwood, and a score of 
them weighed less than a pound; yet, this fact would only 
make death slower and more painful ; for, while a few blows 
might suffice to put one of their own kind out of his miser} 7 , 
it would, most surely, have required a whole day for them to 
beat the life out of such a solid enemy as I was. 

Before I had chance to collect my thoughts, Go-Whizz was 
at the door with his band, their nets coiled to throw over me, 
while behind the net-throwers stood a row of club-bearers, 
anxiously awaiting their turn to begin proceedings. Thought 
I to myself : “ This is serious business. If chief Ztwish-Ztwish 
is not at hand, they will entangle me in their nets and try to 
beat the life out of me before he returns, for they well know 
his affection for me.” But, worse than all, was the fact that 
Go-Whizz had just returned from a distant part of the island, 
whither he and a few of his chums had made a secret journey, 
in order to gorge themselves on the rude and boisterous north- 
west wind. He was full of swagger and ire ! I had never 
seen him swollen to such a size. His voice sounded like the 
deep bellowing of some fierce animal. 

He whirled his net in the air, and called out in thundering 
tones for his men to follow him. 

I felt now that the moment had arrived for me to make a 
desperate effort to save my life and Bulger’s, too, for, with his 
four feet twisted up in one of their nets, he would fall an easy 
prey to Go- Whizz and his band. I felt, too, that it would be 
worse than useless to appeal to Go-Whizz for mercy, in- 
fluenced, as he was, by long and deep draughts of the fierce and 
raging north-west gale. 

There he stood, puffing, blowing, blustering, swaggering, as 
round and round his head he swung the fatal web, which, the 
moment I should attempt to take my back from the wall, he 
intended to cast over me as a fowler would entrap a bird. 

Suddenly I bethought myself of the little instrument which 
had brought me to this dangerous strait. 

Before drawing it, however, from its hiding-place, I deter- 
mined to play the bully and swagger a little myself. 



Now, the heaviest Wind Eater weighs about six pounds ; and, 
as you may imagine, my weight, nearly a hundred pounds, was 
a source of great dread to them. They stood in constant fear 
that I might accidentally tread upon one of the toes of a Wind 
Eater and explode him. 

Before they would allow me to venture out upon one of their 
balconies, or to inhabit an upper story of one of their dwellings, 
they proceeded to strengthen it with the stoutest bamboo 
poles they could find. So, I now began to give the valiant 
Go-Whizz a few gentle reminders of my weight and solidity. 

Leaping high into the air, I landed upon the bamboo flooring 
with such a thump that everything creaked and trembled. 

At first there was a general stampede of Go-Whizz’s fol- 
lowers, and that blustering leader was the only one left to face 
Bulger and me. 

He stood his ground pretty bravely, although I could see that 
he was half inclined to heed the cries of his men and make 
his way out of the dwelling before I succeeded in wrecking 
it. But, after a few more of my jumps, seeing that the flooring 
withstood all my efforts to break it down, Go-Whizz succeeded 
in rallying his band. 

Again, and now more furious than ever, they surrounded us, 
shrieking and howling like mad, their uplifted right hands 
bearing the dangerous nets, with which they hoped to entangle 
Bulger and me, and then dispatch us. 

Now, it was high time for me to fall back on my reserves. 

I did so. The effect was simply astounding. The needle 
proved to be one of the kind used for darning; very long and 
bright, and exceedingly sharp-pointed. My dagger point was 
bad enough. It had thrown them into a wild and panicky fear. 
But, this little instrument, as I brandished it in front of them, 
threw them into fits of rigid terror. 

They stood rooted to the ground, their bulging eyes riveted 
upon the needle-point as if they, one and all, expected it to 
prick them to death if they stirred an inch. 

At last, making a mighty effort, Go- Whizz broke away from 
the spot, uttering a deep and rumbling cry of horror, his men 



roiling after him, in the wildest terror. AYhen they saw the 
tumultuous manner in which the valiant Go-Whizz and his fol- 
lowers retreated from my presence, the assembled men and 
women, with frightful cries, took to their heels as if a legion 
of demons were pursuing them. 

In a few moments Bulger and I stood alone on the battle 
field. He had not budged from my side during the time that 
death threatened me. 

“ Come ! ” said I, as I stooped and stroked his head. “ Come, 
thou faithful friend and companion, let us go to chief Ztwish- 
Ztwish and lay the matter before him ! ’’ 

The chief had just awoke from a noonday nap. He had 
calmly slept through the whole conflict, and so it was necessary 
for me to give hint a full account of the unfortunate accident 
which resulted in exploding an entire string of babies, and of Go- 
Whizz’s attempt to slay me. He listened with great calmness 
and most patiently too. He then begged to be excused for a 
few moments as an attendant had just informed him that a 
very soft and sweet south wind had begun to blow. 

He stepped out on the balcony ; and after he had taken about 
a dozen mouthfuls of the pure, refreshing breeze, returned 
looking a little plumper and, like all men alter enjoying a meal 
of favorite food, was still more amiable and kindly in his man- 
ner than before. 

The news that a dozen of the smallest subjects had been so 
unceremoniously popped out of existence didn’t seem to worry 
him very much. What moved him most of all, was the fact 
which, apparently, up to that hour had never entered into 
his mind, namely, that a point so fine, so delicate, so deadly, so 
nearly invisible, could be created by the hand of man ! 

I assured him that it was that very moment hidden in the 
stuff of my garb, right in front of his eyes. 

He trembled. 

I strove to reassure him, by explaining to him that I would 
as soon think of plunging my poniard into my own heart as of 
turning this almost invisible and yet deadly point against his 



He tried to smile, but it ended in a shudder. 

“ Thinkest thou, little man thick-all-through >” asked chief 
Ztwish-Ztwish with a trembling tongue, “ that I may look upon 
it and not fall into a swoon ? ” 

“ O, most assuredly, great chief : ” was my reply. “ In fact, 
most light and buoyant Ztwish-Ztwish, ” I continued, “I can 
rob this dreaded instrument of all its power to injure thee and 
place it in thy hand like any harmless bit of wood. „ Is it thy 
will that I should thus deliver to thee this dreaded point ? ” 

With a slight shiver, chief Ztwish-Ztwish made answer : 

“Ay, great and learned little master, I think I can bear the 
sight of it now. I am, indeed, very brave, but thou knowest a 
single prick of that deadly point would instantly end the life 
of the sturdiest AY ind Eater. ” 

I again assured him that there was really nothing to dread so 
long as he followed my directions. So saying I drew the darn- 
ing needle from its hiding place. 

Chief Ztwish-Ztwish closed his eyes at first, but gradually 
grew bold enough to gaze upon the glittering point. 

Stooping down I picked up one of the cork clubs and breaking 
off a bit of the smaller end thrust the needle point into it. 

Chief Ztwish-Ztwish Avatched my movements with a sort of 
painful curiosity. 

“ There, great chief of the Wind Eaters,” I exclaimed, “ now 
thou mayest toy with it, hide it in the rushes of thy bed, it can- 
not injure thee ! It is as harmless as a pebble rounded by the 
sportive, sparkling waters of one of thA r mountain brooks. 
Take it ! it may serve thee some day, in case of a sudden attack 
upon thy illustrious person.” 

“ At such a moment, fear naught ! seize it firmly, draAV its 
dreaded point from its hiding place in this bit of cork. So 
small is it that it will be invisible in thy hand, and while thine 
enemy stands before thee in fancied safety, pierce him to 
death ; for, thou are ruler and it is fitting that death should 
strike him who attempts to rob thy people of their chief ! ” 

Chief Ztwish-Ztwish took the needle with trembling hand, 
and hid the bit of cork which held it under the thatch of the 



roof. Then, calling out, he summoned one of his serving-men 
and bade him bring from a neighboring apartment a certain 
small bamboo chest, from which he drew a string of rare 
jewels somewhat of the nature of amber, onty a thousand times 
more brilliant. With this beautiful gift lie dismissed me, issu- 
ing orders to his ministers that no harm should be allowed to 
come to me for the accident which exploded the string of little 
Wind Eaters. 

Go-Whizz could with difficulty hide his anger at seeing me 
once more an honored guest at the court of chief Ztwish-Ztwish. 

I did not relax my vigilance in the least, however. Every 
night I barred the windows with my own hands, and placed 
Bulger’s mat of rushes in front of the door, so that it would 
be impossible for the wrathful leader to surprise me. 

Now that the explosion of the babies was quite forgotten, 
my sojourn among the Wind Eaters would have continued to 
be extremely pleasant, had not a new difficulty arisen to cause 
me anxiety. 

The rather thin diet upon which I had been existing, since 
my arrival among these curious people, while it appeased my 
hunger, robbed me of that plump and well-fed look which I had 
always had, I found myself losing flesh at an alarming rate. 
Chief Ztwish-Ztwish and queen Phew-Yoo were delighted, for 
as they expressed it, “ the little man thick-all-through was 
rapidly becoming in appearance at least, a genuine Wind 

Bulger, too, fell away dreadfully. 

Now and then I surprised him with his dark, lustrous eyes 
fixed upon me with as much as to say : “ O, little master, what 
is the matter with us ? W e eat, and yet we grow thin. Are 
we really turning to Wind Eaters ? ” 

And another bad phase of the matter was, that while my ever- 
increasing leanness was causing me so much anxiety, it was 
carrying joy to the heart of queen Phew-yoo who, it seems, 
had formed the plan of keeping me for the rest of my life in the 
service of her lord and master by bestowing upon me the hand 
of the fair princess Pouf-fali. 



Queen Phew-yoo’s explanation of my ever-increasing thin 
ness was, that it was the effect of the wonderful atmosphere 
of their island ; that it mattered very little how thick and solid 
a man might he, if he lived long enough among them, he would 
gradually lose it and become, if not a genuine Wind Eater, at 
least almost as light and airy a being as they were. 

As I learned of these views from others before hearing them 
from the queen’s own lips, it was not at all a surprise for me, 
one day to receive a message from the stately Phew-yoo sum- 
moning me to present myself before her. 

She accorded me a very gracious reception, and princess Pouf- 
fah too, showed great delight at seeing me under her mother’s 
roof. She bounced hither and thither like a toy balloon, now 
shaking perfume from dried flowers, now holding up strings of 
the curious gems, which I have already mentioned, and making 
them glisten in front of my face. 

I amused her hy holding her out on the palm of my hand and 
tossing her up and catching her, as I would a rubber ball. 

Queen Phew-yoo looked on in mute satisfaction. 

When Princess Pouf-fab had grown weary of play, the queen 
spoke as follows : 

“ O, little man thick-all-through, I have to say to thee that 
which will gladden thy heart. The great chief, my husband, 
and I have noticed with joy that day by day thou art growing 
thinner and thinner. Know then, that this is the magical 
effect of the air thou breathest. When our forefathers landed 
on this island, the}', like thee were solid all through. There- 
fore, be not alarmed when, a few months hence, thou findest 
thyself completely changed. Thou wilt, ere long, lose this 
heavy load of useless flesh, which thou hast been for so long 
a time condemned to carry about with thee, and become light 
and buoyant, like us. And, O beloved Lump, that thou mayest 
hasten the change from thy present solid form and become 
a graceful and hollow being like one of us, I do, with the 
chief Ztwish-Ztwish’s counsel and consent, accord thee per- 
mission to eat with us each day. This very hour shaft thou 
make thy first meal upon the sweet and wholesome wind of the 



South. The very moment, little Chunk, that thou hast become 
thin enough to suit the great chief, he will give thee the fair 
princess Pouf-fall for thy wife.” 

At these words, the princess, who really seemed to be very 
fond of me, clapped her hands joyfully, and bounced between 
her mother and me like a toy football. 

“ But, little Man-Lump,” continued queen Phew-yoo, “ before 
we set out to dine on the sweet wind which blows over Ban- 
quet Hill, there are two things which the great chief Ztwish- 
Ztwish said I must be very particular to mention to you, the 
two conditions upon which he is willing to honor you above 
all men, by bestowing the hand of the beautiful princess Pouf- 
fah upon thee.” 

“ Name them, gracious queen !” I cried, for I was too wise 
to raise any objections at this point. I knew only too well 
that a single word from chief Ztwish-Ztwish would hand me 
over to the tender mercies of the fierce Go-Whizz. 

“ They are,” resumed queen Phew-yoo, puffing out her cheeks 
and tapping them playfully with the backs of her thumbs, 
“ they are, little man thick -all-through, that thou shalt file thy 
teeth down even with thy gums and keep thy nails always 
pared down to the flesh.” 

“It shall be, gracious queen, as thou desirest,” I replied, 
with several low bendings of my body. 

“Then,” answered queen Phew-yoo gayly, “there remains 
nothing for thee to do but to begin at once to accustom thyself 
to our food; so let us set out for Banquet Hill without delay, 
for the sweet south wind is blowing fresh and strong !” 

I accompanied queen Phew-yoo and princess Pouf-fah to 
the place indicated. It was a beautiful knoll, from which I 
could look far away to southward over a valley, enchantingly 

She and the princess at once began to inhale the soft, sweet 
air, and encouraged me to do the same. 

They were delighted with my efforts. In fact, the motherly 
Phew-yoo seemed a little bit anxious lest I should overeat 



After the princess had taken a few deep draughts, I was 
surprised to see an attendant approach her and place about her 
throat a necklace of beads, strung upon an elastic cord. This 
was a precaution to prevent the princess from eating too 
heartily, were she so inclined. Well, as you may imagine, I 
returned to my apartments from dining with queen Phew-yoo 
and princess Pouf-fah on Banquet Hill a very hruigiy man; 
if that were possible, hungrier than I was before, for the 
pure, fresh air and many deep breaths had fairly" made me 

Once more alone with Bulger, I set to work thinking out 
some scheme to get hold of more food; and, by checking my 
alarming loss of flesh, put an end to queen Phew-yoo’s plan 
of transforming me into a genuine Wind Eater and giving me 
the princess Pouf-fah for a wife. 

It occurred to me that possibly I might catch some fish in 
one of the arms of the sea nearest to the village and broil it 
on live embers, for I had my tinder box in my pocket. 

This plan worked to a charm. I soon succeeded in teaching 
several of the serving-men to rig up a number of their war- 
nets as a sort of seine, and was overjoyed the first time I 
cast it to make a haul of a dozen or more fine sea-bass. 

Bulger entered into the sport with great zeal, seizing a rope 
in his mouth and tugging away for dear life, as we began to 
haul in. 

The next thing was to gather some dry leaves and wood, and 
start a suitable fire to make a bed of embers. Crowds of the 
Wind Eaters gathered about me and watched my movements 
with a sort of mixture of wonder, fear and pleasure. 

When at last the smoke began to curl up, and the flame 
showed itself, cries of consternation broke forth, and a wild 
stampede ensued. 

Chief Ztwish-Ztwish was hastily summoned ; but, I had no 
difficulty in convincing him that I intended no injury to anyone, 
that the red tongues which he saw darting forth were per- 
fectly harmless if they did not come in contact with one’s flesh ; 
that it would only be necessary for him to issue a command for- 



bidding the people to approach too near to the tongues of 
crimson which darted from the black clouds of smoke. 

By the time the live embers had formed I was ready with a 
dressed sea-bass of about two pounds’ weight, and the cooking 

It is needless for me to assure you that Bulger and I sat down 
to a delightful meal, really the first satisfactory one since my 
arrival among the Wind Eaters. 

From this time on all went well. Every day my oyster gath- 
erers and my fishermen made their visit to the shore to keep 
my larder supplied. Upon their return, I was always in read- 
iness with a fine bed of embers. So things went on for a week 
or so. I was delighted to find Bulger and myself gaining flesh 
in splendid style. And still, every now and then I was obliged 
to accept queen Phew-yoo’s invitation to dine with her and 
the princess Pouf-fall at Banquet Hill, where I pretended to 
enjoy* a meal on the soft and perfumed south wind quite as 
much as they did themselves. Queen Phew-yoo insisted that 
my complextion was growing clearer and more transparent 
every day, and that, beyond all doubt, in a few months I would 
be able entirely to give upa“ swallowing stones ” as she called 

While I was quietly pursuing my studies of these curious 
people, another unfortunate occurrence took place, and this 
time it turned out to be a very grave and serious matter. 

The Wind Eaters were not long in getting accustomed to the, to 
them, at first, startling sight of “ crimson tongues darting from 
the mouths of black clouds.” In fact, they soon learned to 
like the odor of the delicate morsels as they lay broiling on the 
embers, and when the air was chilly, didn’t hesitate to form a 
circle around Bulger and me as we sat eating our dinner and 
enjoy the warmth, and to them, curious spectacle at the same 
time. It so happened that one evening, I had left a deeper bed 
of embers than I had imagined. The ashes collected over them 
and they continued to glow till nightfall. A band of roysterers 
belonging to the Go- Whizz faction, by the merest chance, 
returned, homeward that night from a trip to the north shore of 
the island, where they had gorged themselves upon the bois- 





terous wind of that quarter. Attracted by the glow of the 
remaining embers, they made haste to gather a lot of wood, 
threw it upon the smoldering fire, and, as the flames began to 
thrust out their red tongues here and there, ranged themselves 
in a circle to enjoy the warmth, for the night was damp and 

So pleasant did they find the effects of the warmth that they 
resolved to pass the night there and threw themselves down on 
the ground as close to the fire as they deemed it prudent to go. 

About midnight a gentle scratching on my arm from Bulger’s 
paw, told me that something unusual had happened, for he 
never awakened me unless’ he was quite sure that the matter 
was serious enough to warrant him in disturbing me. 

I found the village in the wildest state of alarm. Ear-pierc- 
ing screams from the women mingled with the deep rumbling 
outcries of the men. 

You have no doubt, already guessed what had happened. The 
facts were simply these : In the night, the cold had increased, 
and -several of the Wind Eaters, half asleep, and half stupefied by 
the deep draughts of the boisterous north-west wind, had ap- 
proached closer and closer to the fire, when suddenly the vast 
quantity of cold air which they had swallowed began to expand 
and four of them exploded with a terrific noise. 

In quicker time than it takes to tell it, my dwelling was 
surrounded by a screaming, shrieking, howling mob ot Wind 
Eaters, demanding my instant death. 

It required all of chief Ztwish-Ztwish’s influence with his 
people to save me from being entangled in their fatal nets and 
beaten to death on the spot. 

To make matters a thousand times worse, the bully and 
swaggerer, Go-Whizz, entered the village at this very moment, 
with a pack of his quarrelsome hangers-on at his heels. He 
had been away on a secret trip to the farthest northern point 
of the island, where the north wind howls and roars its 
maddest. I had never seen him puffed up so to the very 
bursting point with his favorite food. 

When he heard of the fate which had overtaken his four 


81 ) 

comrades, his fury knew no bounds. He and his followers 
pounded their chests until the air quivered with deep and 
rumbling sounds, while ever and anon they broke out into the 
wildest lamentations for their dead companions. He openly 
and boldly charged chief Ztwdsh-Ztwish with having betrayed 
his people and given over their once happy island to certain 
ruin at the hands of the “ little monster thick -all-through/’ w ho, 
by his dread magic and foul mysteries, would soon bring their 
people to feed upon stones like himself. 

Day now r began to break ; and w r ith the coming light, the 
confusion in the village seemed to take on new r strength. So 
sure was I that death was about to strike me that I wrote out 
several messages to the elder baron and to the gentle baroness, 
my mother, on the leaves of my note book, and left directions 
w T ith one of the chief’s serving-men that, in case of my death, 
it was my w ish that he should send them to my people, w r hom 
he would find on my ship in the beautiful bay on the distant 
shore of the island. 

I said nothing about Bulger, for I knew only too w r ell that 
he would die by my side. 

I prepared for the w r orst. I examined the primings of my 
pocket-pistols, and concealed my dagger under my coat at the 
back of my neck, where I w r ould be better able to reach it, if 
it came to close quarters. 

This done, I proceeded to cut my finger-nails to as sharp 
points as I could, for I was determined to sell my life as dearly 
as possible. 

While I felt confident of chief Ztwish-Ztwish’s affection for 
me, yet I couldn’t tell at w T hat moment he might lose courage 
and turn me over to the mob, in order to save himself. 

Bulger w r atched all my preparations with wdde-opened and 
intelligent eyes, occasionally giving utterance to a low, nervous 
whine, as the howling, shrieking, roaring mob surged back and 
forth in front of chief Ztwish-Ztwish’s dwelling. 

By the law of the land, the common people were prohibited 
from entering the inner enclosure of the chief’s abode, but 
Go- Whizz, being one of the nobles or minor chiefs, w r as 



entitled to advance into the chief’s presence and state his 
wrongs or make his requests. 

So now, the raging Go-Whizz, parting from his followers, 
who never ceased crying out for vengeance upon the “little 
demon Lump,” who, on two different occasions, had spread 
death and destruction among their people, strode into the pres- 
ence of chief Ztwish-Ztwish. 

The chief was calm. He had not partaken of food for four 
and twenty hours, and stood up, wrinkled, creased and seamed, 
as the Wind Eaters always look when fasting. Near him 
sat queen Phew-yoo and princess Pouf- fall, while directly 
behind him were ranged his three councillors, Hiss-sah, Whirr- 
Whirr, and Sh-Boom. They were well-rounded out by recent 
draughts of the strong and wholesome west wind, and hence, 
looked as contented and smiling as Ztwish-Ztwish looked sad 
and solemn. I stood in an adjoining apartment, concealed behind 
a bamboo screen, with my faithful Bulger by my side. I was 
so placed that I could see all, without being seen myself. 
Chief Ztwish-Ztwish knew of my presence there. 

As Bulger caught a glimpse of the raging and bellowing 
Go- Whizz, he grew so nervous that I was obliged to stoop and 
stroke his head to let him know I feared nothing. But the 
fact of the matter is, great dangers always exert a subduing 
influence upon me. 

I face them cooly, but sadly, for my thoughts in such moments 
go back to the elder baron and to the gentle baroness, my 
mother, in the far-away home ’neath the skies of the beloved 

Like a huge football impelled by the kick of some gigantic 
foot, Go-Whizz landed in the audience chamber of chief 
Ztwish-Ztwish. He shook his arms violent^, and bounded up 
and down with inward fury, for he was still too much beside 
himself with rage to utter any other sound than a deep rum- 
bling growl or mutter. 

From my place behind the bamboo screen I followed, with 
all the keenness of sight for which I am so justly famous, 
every movement of the furious Go- Whizz, as well as the actions 



and demeanor of chief Ztwish-Ztwish and of his councillors, 
for I was determined not to be caught napping in case any signs 
of treachery should be visible. At the very first glance I saw 
that the rebellious Go-Whizz had something hidden in his 
girdle, and from the shape and length I knew at once that it 
was a flint knife. Quick as thought, I beckoned a serving man 
to my side and sent a message to the chief, telling the atten- 
dant to appear to be engaged in waving the branches of per- 
fumed leaves as was his duty while he whispered- it in the 
chief’s ear. 

It was as follows : 

“ Be on thy guard ! O, Chief. The brawler hath a flint knife 
hidden in his girdle. He will attempt to slay thee. Be careful ! 
Be calm ! ” 

Go-Whizz had now quieted down a little ; but, with a voice 
of thunder, he began his tirade. He pictured the long years 
of peace and happiness on their island, the blessings they had 
enjoyed under the long and glorious line of rulers of which 
Ztwish-Ztwish was the worthy descendant. He thundered 
out defiance against all the enemies of the Wind Eaters and as 
softly as possible roared his own praises telling of the many 
deeds of valor he had performed in Ztwish-Ztwish’s service and 
ended by declaring himself ready and willing to die for his 
beloved chief. 

When Go-Whizz had spoken, the chief bowed his head for 
a few moments in silence and then made answer : “ Thou hast 
spoken truly and wisely, O Go-Whizz ! Thou art brave. Thou 
hast the right to demand favor at my hands ! Speak, Go-Whizz, 
what may Ztwish-Ztwish do for thee ? ” 

At these words of Ztwish-Ztwish, all the former fury of Go- 
Whizz broke forth once more. Pounding his chest and striding 
up and down the audience chamber, he roared out : 

“ That thou givest into my hands this very hour, the ‘ Solid 
Demon,’ the dreaded ‘ Man-Lump,’ the monster ‘ Thick- All- 
Through ’ who hath brought all this death and ruin into our 
peaceful land ! ” 

Chief Ztwish-Ztwish was silent for a few moments. 



Need I tell you that my very heart listened for the reply ? 

I could hear nothing hut the deep, coarse, grating sound of 
Go-Whizz’s breath as I leaned forward to catch the first word 
which should fall from the chief’s lips. 

It seemed a lifetime. At length Ztwish-Ztwish spoke : 

“ My brother, thou art inflamed with the deep draughts of 
the fierce and raging north wind ! Thou art beside thyself. 
Thou seest not clearly ! I must not adjudge death except when 
the decree will rest on the laws of our fathers. True, the 
i Little Man-Thick-All-Through ’ hath been the cause of great 
misfortune to our people, but the innocent cause. He hath not 
striven or desired to harm us. He is a lover of peace, a friend 
of his kind. My followers were warned of the danger of the 
crimson tongues. The ‘ Man Lump ’ did not seek their death. 
And full well too, thou knowest that the laws of our fathers bid 
us to hold the lives of our guests as sacred as the texture of our 
skin. Go thy way, therefore, Go-Whizz, I cannot doom the 
‘ Man Lump ’ to death. 

“ Is this,” roared the disappointed leader, “ the kind of justice 
which thou givest to my people ? ” 

“ Ay, is it, thou brawler !” replied chief Ztwish-Ztwish, now 
fast losing control over himself. “ Hold thy peace and depart, 
lest in my wrath at thy frequent wrong doing I give thee over 
to merited punishment ! ” 

“ Have a care, Ztwish-Ztwish ! ” roared Go-Whizz, boiling over 
with rage, “ have a care lest thy people rise in their might and 
cast thee out, thou unjust ruler ! ” 

“ Begone, I say !” was Ztwish-Ztwish’s calm but stern reply. 

u Go thou first, then, traitor to thy people ! thundered out 
Go-Whizz, springing forward with the flint knife raised high 
in the air. 

Cries of terror burst from those gathered in the audience 
chamber. But chief Ztwish-Ztwish calmly put forth his hand 
and touched the would-be assassin. 

With a deafening crack the body of the raging Go-Whizz 
flew into a thousand pieces, like a huge balloon seized by the 
hands of the tempest and whirled against the spear-like 
branches of some shattered oaken monarch of the plain. 



Queen Pliew-yoo and princess Pouf-fah, bewildered and 
terror-stricken, clung to each other, while silent fear sat on 
the faces of those around the chief. But he w r as calm, and 
spoke a few words in a mild and steady voice to the queen 
and the princess. 

When the people learned of Go- Whizz’s attempt to slay their 
ruler and how the brawler, at the very instant he lifted the 
flint knife to_strike, had been mysteriously stricken dead at 
Ztwish-Ztwish’s feet, they sent up loud huzzas, for the fierce 
Go- Whizz was more feared than loved, even by his followers. 

It required several days for the village of the Wind Eaters 
to quiet down and take on its every-day look, after the mys- 
terious death of Go-Whizz ; but, with his disappearance van- 
ished all opposition to chief Ztwish-Ztwish’s rule. 

The people firmly believed that it was the avenging spirits 
of the air who had touched the brawler with their sword 
points when he raised his hand against their ruler. 

I need hardly tell you that the chief’s gratitude to me knew 
no bounds. No gifts were too beautiful or too costly to be 
offered me. And the fact that I declined them all, only 
seemed to strengthen his affection for me. 

But how could I, how dared I reject the gift of the hand of 
the fair princess Pouf-fah ? 

To do this would be to undo all that I have done, to make 
Ztwish-Ztwish my enemy, to transform his love into hate, his 
confidence into suspicion — possibly to write my own death 

There was but one course left for me to pursue. And that 
was escape ! 

And escape, too, it must be at once, before I had lost the 
chief’s confidence. One of Ztwish-Ztwish’s first acts after his 
rescue from the flint knife of the murderous Go-Whizz, was to 
restore to me the tiny instrument with the invisible point. 

This done, a terrible load seemed to be lifted from his mind. 
He became himself again. And with his returning happiness 
and content, came a still stronger desire to hasten my marriage 
with the princess Pouf-fah. 



With the greatest caution, I made this and that excuse, in 
order to gain time to collect my thoughts and settle upon some 
sure plan of escape, for recapture I knew meant death, or 
worse than death — imprisonment until I should consent to give 
up all desire to leave the island of the Wind Eaters, and pledge 
myself to become, so far as nature would permit, one of their 

Cautious as I was, my excuses awakened suspicion. 

The first proof of this was to find that orders had been 
given to cut off my supply of fish. 

Queen Phew-yoo was afraid that so long as I was permitted 
to have all the solid food I wanted, I would not grow thin 
enough to be content with air diet, and, therefore, not satisfied 
to make my home among them for the rest of my life. 

The next thing to happen to me was to find my supply of 
oysters and mussels reduced one-half by orders of Phew-yoo. 
This meant yield or starve ! 

It struck me like a bolt out of a clear sky ! 

But it has always been just such blows as this which have, 
throughout my life, aroused me to calm, quick, intelligent 

I hesitated no longer. My plan reached perfection in a single 
moment. When night-fall came I hastily scrawled a few lines 
addressed to my sailing-master, telling him of the fate which 
threatened to overtake me and bidding him arm a few trusty 
men and hasten to my rescue. This I tied to the collar of my 
loved and faithful Bulger. He covered my hand with carresses 
and I held him clasped in my arms for an instant while the 
tears fell hot and fast. Then I softly opened the door of my 
bamboo lodge. 

The night was bright and glorious. “Away, my beloved 
Bulger!” I whispered, stooping and pressing my lips for the 
last time on his silken ears and shapely head. “ To the ship ! 
Away ! ” He paused, looked into my face, gave a low whine as if 
to say : “ Ay, ay, little master, I understand ! ” And awa} r he 
sprang like the wind. For an instant I could follow him as with 
a long and sturdy bound he sped along ! And then he was gone ! 



The next morning, to my utter astonishment, I was informed 
that all the preparations for the marriage of the princess Pouf- 
fah and the u little man thick-all-through,” were completed and 
that the feasting and merrymaking would begin the day fol- 

This piece of news, startling as it was, I received with 
perfect calmness. I completely disarmed all suspicion by my 
apparent satisfaction with the bright prospect of becoming the 
son-in-law of the great chief Ztwish-ZtwishT I searched my* 
pockets for trinkets to bestow upon the light and airy Pouf-fah 

Queen Phew-yoo was not visible. So great had been the 
joy of her mother’s heart that in a moment of weakness she 
had partaken too greedily of the rich, but unwholsome east 
wind and was now suffering from a fearful attack of dyspepsia. 

This was a most fortunate thing for me, for I am quite certain 
that queen Phew-yoo would never have consented to allow me 
to return to my own apartments that night. There was now 
but one thing left for me to do and that was to make for the 
distant sea-coast, where I had left my ship and crew. 

And start, too, that very night. As ill luck would have it, 
chief Ztwish-Ztwish, noticing that a delightfully strong west 
wind had begun to blow insisted upon having a sort of prelim- 
inary feast about sundown. 

I was invited to join the party. 

Not daring to refuse, I set out with the merry-makers and not 
only tired myself out by making frantic efforts to fill myself 
with their invisible food but it was nearly mid-night before the 
village grew perfectly quiet and everybody seemed to have 
closed the doors and windows of his dwelling. But, after all, 
the rioting of the Wind Eaters was a fortunate thing for me. 
They went to bed so gorged with many and deep draugths of 
the hearty and filling west wind, that they slept like logs, if you 
will allow me to compare puffballs to solid wood. 

I waited until the rumbling of the voices had died away as the 
last group of roysterers broke up and the solitary Wind Eaters, 
scattered along the streets, disappeared one by one into their 
bamboo dwellings. 



Leaving my door fastened on the inside, I sprang lightly 
through the window, and under cover of the deep shadows made 
my way unnoticed to the outskirts of the town. Here I broke 
into a sharp run, for at very most I would have but six hours’ 
start of the Wind Eaters and that was far too little ; for, as I 
have already told you, they flit along like phantoms when in a 
fasting condition, and even when pretty well filled, are very 
swift of foot — more especially if the air be quiet so as not to 
impede their advance. 

On, on, I sped with a desperate resolve to make such a good 
use of my start as to make it impossible for them to overtake me. 

To my horror, after about an hour’s run I noticed that my 
legs were beginning to tire. 

This was a terrible blow to me. For a few moments I stag- 
gered along half unconscious of where I was, whither I was 
hastening and of the awful danger threatening me. All at once 
the truth of the matter broke upon me. 

I was but the wreck of my former self. The long months 
of fish diet had robbed my muscles of that wonderful strength 
and elasticity which was once my pride and my chief depend- 
ence in moments of peril. 

Frail as I had grown, my legs now bent beneath me. 

Slower and slower grew my pace. My heart seemed to 
swell and shut out the very breath of life. 

On, ever onward, I toiled with a desperate effort to escape 
my pursuers, whose rumbling voices it half seemed to me were 
faintly booming in the distance. 

But Nature would do no more ! 

I reeled, I staggered, I stopped, I fell ! 

How long I lay there I know not. But when I came to myself, 
I could plainly feel that change in the air which tells of the 
coming day. The rippling of a brook fell on my ear. I 
dragged my aching body in the direction the sound came from. 
A deep pull at the cool, clear water of the brook refreshed me 
somewhat. I attempted to rise ; but, O, new loss of hope — 
to discover that my joints had stiffened while sleeping on the 
ground, uncovered, yes, even ill-clad, for I had left one piece 



of my clothing hanging on the window-sill of my lodge in the 
village, to quiet any suspicion which might arise in the minds 
of the serving-men. 

Thoughts of home, however, of the elder baron, of the gentle 
baroness, my mother, of my loved Bulger, flitted through my 
fevered brain, and prompted me to make one more effort to 
regain my feet and escape death at the hands of chief Ztwish- 
Ztwish’s enraged people, who would soon be bounding along, 
up hill and down dale, like spirits of the wind, as they were. 

. A groan escaped my lips as I rose to my feet, so like knife- 
points in my joints were the pains which shot through my 

But I must try to be up and away, even though the effort 
cost me a thousand agonizing twinges. 

I owe it to the loved ones at home to push on till I fall utterly 
broken, till, like a stricken beast, robbed of the power to stand, 
I should topple and fall at the feet and at the mercy of my 

Such were the thoughts which oppressed my poor, reeling 

A terrible mystery, a torturing dream weighed me down. 

I still had my mind. I could see. I could feel. I could hear. 
And why should I not rise and move onward, and away from 
the certain death which hovered over me ? 

Crazed by such thoughts, I struggled to my feet and stag- 
gered along, sending forth a groan with every step ! 

But I had steeled myself to the task, and dragged myself 
along, still oppressed by some strange and mysterious power, 
which gave to every pebble the rock’s size, and widened every 
gully to a yawning chasm, on the brink of which I paused in 
sickening fear of plunging into some black abyss. And yet, 
oh joy ! gradually the films faded from my eyes, the mysterious 
power lifted its spell from my brain. I felt more like myself. 

I saw clearer. My step grew firmer. Now, at last, thought 
I, all is going well ! 

When, suddenly, a long, blue-gray streak of light flashed 
along over the heads of the hills in the far distant eastern 
sky. It was the signal of morning ! 



Again, with a groan I sank on my knees, caught myself, rose 
half -dazed, pressed on again, slowly, slowly, every step jarring 
on my heated brain like a hammer’s blow ; but still onward, 
onward ! 

A terrible grip as of some giant hand — palm of iron and 
fingers of steel — set itself on my very vitals. The thought 
that even now my escape was known to my enemies, that the 
phantom Wind Eaters, armed with their nets and clubs, were 
flitting out of the streets of chief Ztwish-Ztwish’s village, 
charged to carry me back alive to a worse death than death 
itself, or slay me for having broken faith and set the face 
of honesty over my fraud and deceit, seemed to paralyze my 
limbs and rob me of the little strength I had left. 

Still on and ever onward I struggled, like one in the dull 
stupor of the wine cup. Fast ! ah, too fast that streak of 
gray dawn lengthened and widened and the orb of day shot up 
through the morning shadows a messenger of light here and 
there, now weak and fitful, now stronger and farther reaching. 

I saw them, ay, I felt them, for in my dread of them they 
seemed to flash toward me and strike my half closed eyes, as 
if knocking at the windows of my soul and rousing me to move 
out of death’s harm. 

For a brief moment I halted as if expecting some fond, famil- 
iar voice to ring in my ears. 

It came. 

It was the gentle baroness, my mother ! Gently, softly, 
sweetly, that well-known voice came floating on the morning air 
bidding me take heart, calling me by name just as in childhood’s 
days, and saying : “ My baby ! my boy ! my son ! my darling ! 
Rouse thee ! Press on ! Press on quickly ! ” And then I took 

The fearful clamp set on my breast relaxed its hold. 

I could feel my strength returning. But oh, so slowly, so 
slowly ! Still, it was on its way back at last ! I could feel my 
feet grow lighter. With some effort I quickened my pace 
almost to a run. 

On, on, I sped, now every instant giving me new strength, 



every motion sending the warm blood tingling to my fingers’ 

The spell had been lifted ! I was myself again ! 

Swifter, and swifter my pace quickened until I flew along as 
in days of old, when with ease I left all comers far behind me ! 

Methought I could almost hear the plash of the waves on the 
snow-white sands of that beautiful harbor where my good ship 

On, and ever onward, I sped with a new and mysterious 
strength. I was astounded at my own deeds. I was almost 
afraid, so fast I was bounding along, lest again some demon of 
the air should touch my limbs and stay my course. 

But hark ! Didn’t you hear that deep rumble ? 

The sky is clear. It cannot have been the voice of the storm 

Ha ! again, deeper and clearer than before, that hoarse, low, 
muttering rumble, half -roar, half -growl comes borne along on 
the wings of the awakened breeze. 

Lost ! Lost ! Lost ! 

It is the cry of the pursuers, it is the voice of the enemy ! 

Those children of the air are on my track. They follow me 
with leap and jump. What madness to think to outrun them. 
Let me halt and die like a man ! Look how they bound along 
over the plain ! 

Swift and noiseless are their steps, phantoms that they are ! 

I halt. I turn. I grasp my fire-arm ! Too late ! A score of 
entangling nets envelope me ! I struggle only to entwine myself 
the more, arms, hands, legs, feet, are twisted in wretched con- 

I sway, fall, roll over, wrapped ’round and ’round in that 
dreadf ul tangle ! 

And now down upon my defenceless body comes a rain of 
sharp, stinging blows. Deep rumbling cries fill the air and 
keep time in a wild way with the showers of blows rained on 
my face and head and hands. 

As they continue they seem to increase in strength. 

The pain, bearable at first, now becomes excruciating. 



The light goes out of my eyes, swollen shut as they are 
beneath this cruel pelting. 

A thousand ringing sounds assail my ears. 

My brain reels — I am going — going — dying — 

When, hark again ! 

You can not hear it ! Your ears would not know it ! But 
mine do ! Mine do ! 

’Tis Bulger’s bark and I am saved ! Faster and faster the 
Wind Eaters ply their clubs. 

I do not heed them. I do not feel them now, for nearer and 
nearer comes that joyous music. 

’Tis here ! 

I’m strong again. I rise half up — my lips move — I speak — 
I cry out : “ Quick, good Bulger, or all is lost !” A single 
glance at the terrible plight of his little master tells him all. 
With a howl of rage, his dark eyes shooting flame, he throws 
himself upon the heels of the Wind Eaters. His sharp teeth 
pierce like needles ! 

Crack ! 

Again and again he sends his fangs through the skin of a 
Wind Eater. 

Crack ! Crack ! 

Their clubs cease swinging. A cry of horror goes up, as for 
the fourth time good Bulger’s teeth pierces the heel of a Wind 
Eater and sends his body with a loud report to vanish into thin 

They turn; they break away in wild dismay; they fly for 
their lives, casting away their clubs and abandoning their 
victim. I could see no more. 

It grew black, a vertigo seized me. I tried to free my hands 
to touch my loved Bulger, for death, I thought, had come ! 


When life came back Bulger was licking my hands and face 
and whining piteously. He had gnawed the netting free from 
the limbs of his little master. 

With a cry of joy and a brust of tears, I caught that faithful, 
loving creature to my breast. 



At that instant, distant shouts came floating over the hills. 
They came from my sailing-master and his relief party. 

I could not answer. But Bulger raised his head and sent 
forth a few sharp harks to tell them where we were. 

In a short half hour they were at my side. 




After my bruised face and hands had been bathed in cool 
water and I had swallowed a few mouthfuls of wine, I felt 
strong enough to get on my feet and move slowly forward. 

Bulger walked proudly by my side, pausing ever and anon to 
look me in the face, meaning to ask : 

“ How goes it with thee, little master ?'” Once on ship-board, 
strengthened by good food and cheered by the comforts of my 
cabin, I was not long in getting my health back again. After 
a week’s rest, I gave orders to weigh anchor and turn our good 
ship’s head northward, for I was anxious, very anxious to see 
the elder baron and the gentle baroness, my mother, and tell 
them all about the wonderful things I had seen. 




How the elder Baron and the Baroness received Bulger and me upon 
our return from our first voyage. I am decorated by the Emperor 
with the grand cross of the Crimson Cincture. The elder Baron 
presents me with a copy of an ancient Roman newspaper. I read of 
the murder of the beautiful Paula, and the banishment by Caesar of 
the Seven Sculptors to a faraway island in the southern seas. I re- 
solved to set out in search of the Island. My departure. Trouble 
with crew. My sailing-master loses his reason. I hear the cry, Land 
ho ! It is the Sculptors’ Island. Description of- it. I go ashore. 
Paula’s statue. Adventures on the Island. Bulger makes a wonder- 
ful discovery. Something about the strange people who inhabit the 
Island. Their habits, their pleasures, their characters. I am over- 
taken by an alarming melancholy. My awful dread at thought of 
becoming as one of me dwellers on the Sculptors’ Isle. I learn of the 
existence of Antonius. I seek him. V ain endeavor to grasp his hand. 
Our interview. The strange and moving history of the Seven Sculpt- 
ors and their descendants. How they were transformed into the 
Slow Movers. Bulger and I propose to leave the Island. Extra- 
ordinary conduct of a bust of the great Caeser. Our farewell to the 
Slow Movers. Their adieu. Our good ship sails away. 

Upon my return from my first 
journey to far away lands, the 
elder baron and his faithful 
spouse, my beloved mother, fol- 
lowed by all the retainers of the 
household, met Bulger and me at 
the outer gate and welcomed us 
home with that wild and boister- 
ous joy which only German 
hearts are capable of. 

The elder baron threw his arms 
around my neck, and, forgetful of 
the fact that I was only half his 
size, lifted me completely off the 
ground in the unreasoning joy 
of a father’s heart, nearly throt- 
tling me. 

I kicked vigorously, but, the 
soft felt soles of my oriental 
the beautiful paula. shoes prevented me from giving 

him to understand that he was fast choking me to death. 



At last my thoughtful mother noticed that I was growing 
black in the face, and laying hold of my legs, pulled me down- 
ward out of the dangerous embrace in which the elder baron 
had wrapped me. Not, however, until my father’s Nuremberg 
egg had bored painfully into my protuberant brow, adding 
another bump to that already bumpy territory. Upon noticing 
which the elder baron dispatched an attendant to his apartment 
with orders to search his medicine chest for a bottle of volatile 
liniment. In his eagerness to undo the harm he had inflicted, 
he poured a stream of acrid liquid into my eyes, causing me 
intense suffering. This red and inflamed condition of my eyes, 
however, the tenants, and retainers attributed to my emotion 
upon entering the baronial hall once more, after so long an 

I didn r t regret this little accident at all, for while I am 
opposed to that ready-made style of emotion which some people 
always keep on hand, I have no objections to a noble and digni- 
fied use of tears. 

It is needless to say that every body was delighted to see 
Bulger. They all found that he had increased in size, beauty 
and intelligence. 

He received all this homage with a dignity that was charming 
to behold. 

To impress the crowd with a due sense of that discipline and 
self-control which he acquired as the constant companion and 
confidant of his master, he absolutely refused to touch the many 
tid-bits and dainty morsels which the retainers offered him, 
and gazed with the utmost indifference at the other dogs in 
their mad scramblings for the food which he had declined. 

I was very proud of him. 

In a few days everything had settled down to its wonted quiet 
again beneath the baronial roof. Evenings I passed giving 
accounts of the many wonderful things I had seen while abroad 

To these sittings, a few of the older and more confidential 
household servants were admitted. 

My good mother arranged them in a semi-circle behind the 
chairs of the elder baron and his guests. I, with Bulger by 



my side, occupied a dais, either seated by the side of a table 
holding my curiosities or standing in front of my auditors in an 
easy position, while 1 held them spell-bo und by my narration. 

There was one thing that worried me, and it was this : How 
will the elder baron receive the announcement of my intention 
to leave home again, ere many moons ? 

To my great surprise and delight he didn’t even wait for me 
to make known my intentions. 

While seated in my library, one day, poring over a very rare 
book of travels which I had just purchased, a gentle tap at the 
door caused Bulger to raise his head and give a low growl. 

“ Come in ! ” said I. 

It was the elder baron. 

“ I disturb you ! ” he began. 

“ You haA^e that right, baron,” I replied, with a gracious 
smile; “be seated, pray.” 

And saying this, I arranged the pelt of a A T ery beautiful and 
rare animal which I had killed while abroad, so as to make a 
comfortable seat for the elder baron on the canopy. 

“ My son ! ” said the baron, “ I come to bring thee this little 
token from our gracious master, the Emperor. ” 

I looked up. 

He held in his hand the insignia of the Grand Cross of the 
Crimson Cincture. 

I laid the bauble on the table. 

“ Little baron, ” continued my father, “ I am well pleased with 
thee. ” 

I made a low obeisance. 

“Thy marvelous adventures fill all mouths. Thou hast set a 
new lustre on the family name, and I come to rouse thee from 
thj apparent sloth. Thou must be up and doing. Thou must 
shake off this indolence which will gain an increased poAver 
over thee each passing hour. NeAv triumphs await thee. Go 
lorth once more. Turn aside out of the beaten paths. Seek 
the wonderful and marvelous. But ere thou settest forth, 
ponder the contents of this parchment roll. Many years ago^ 
when the down of manhood first came upon my cheek, and 



before life’s burdens had come to lie heavily on my soul, I 
found it in the damp and noisome vaults of an ancient Roman 
Convent, which the pestilential air of an encroaching marsh 
had emptied of its inmates. It may turn thy footsteps toward 
something strange and interesting ! ” 

Concealing with difficulty the joy occasioned by my father’s 
words and my earnestness to know the contents of the parch- 
ment roll, I returned the elder baron’s salutation with marked 
respect, and he withdrew. 

I need not assure the reader of the almost breathless anxiety 
with which I unroled the volumen. 

It was in the Latin tongue, and was the work of a scribe. 

The ink had faded somewhat, but, even in places where it had 
entirely disappeared, I could by the aid of a strong lens 
readily trace out the words by the lines scratched into the parch- 
ment by the point of the reed pen. 

It was a copy of an ancient Roman newspaper or Acta Diurna, 
and bore a date corresponding to our forty-fifth year before 
the present era. 

Caesar was at the height of his power. 

Peace reigned, the arts flourished. Rome, the centre of the 
world, was the home of a glory and magnificence far beyond 
anything the eyes of man had yet gazed upon. 

The contents of this copy of the Acta Diurna were largely 
made up of detailed accounts of a famous trial just completed 
at Rome, in Avhich seven noted sculptors had been found guilty 
of poisoning a beautiful maid named Paula, after they had each 
completed a statue of her, in order that no other sculptors 
should ever be able to make use of her for the same purpose. 

The judges had pronounced the sentence of death upon them, 
but in consideration of their splendid services in beautifying 
the imperial city, Ceasar had changed their punishment from 
death to lifelong exile. 

The seven sculptors had been transported in an imperial 
galley to a faraway island in the Southern Seas. As stated in 
this copy of the Acta Diurna it was the most remote piece of 
land belonging to the Roman Empire lying to the Southward : 



*‘Ad insulain remotissimam imperii romani medianorum.” 

As an additional act of the imperial clemency the wives and 
children of the condemned sculptors had been graciously 
accorded permission to follow their husbands and fathers into 
their terrible exile. 

When I had finished reading all the minute details of this 
strange crime and its awful results, I found that my blood was 
coursing through my veins with a mad violence. I paced the floor 
with such a quick and nervous step and with agitation so 
plainly visible in my looks, that I was aroused from my reverie 
by the anxious whining of Bulger, who was following me about 
the room close upon my heels. 

Wliy not go in quest of this faraway isle to which these seven 
sculptors and their families were transported by command of 
great Ceasar? 

Perchance in that far-distant isle dwells a race of beings 
who, forgetting the world, and forgotten by it, will, by their 
strange habits and peculiar customs so interest me as to repay 
me for all the dangers I may run in crossing untracked seas 
and turning aside from ocean paths. 

Perchance their descendants may be living yet ? 

This idea now took possession of my whole being. 

Sleep was impossible. 

Far into the night I pored over ancient charts. 

W^hile deepest silence enwrapped the baronial halls, I worked 
out in my mind, or, rather, let my mind work out, the course 
which I should pursue. 

For it was always a custom of mine never to attempt to 
solve the unsol vable. In fact, I early made the discovery that 
any interference on my part with the mysterious workings of 
my mind tended rather to impede its action. 

So I waited calmly for light. 

It came at last. 

Closing my eyes, with my inner sight I could see a map of 
the eastern world traced in glowing, shimmering lines upon 
an inky background. 

And there, too, could I see my course marked out in dotted 
lines of fire. 



With a loud, ringing cry of joy I sprang to my feet and 
exclaimed: “I shall find this wonderful isle! I shall unlock 
the portals of the Southern seas ! I shall gaze upon the 
descendants of Paula’s murderers ! 

Come, Bulger ! Away ! Away ! ” 

Hastily bidding adieu to my parents, I swung myself into the 
saddle, and, with Bulger securely strapped en croupe, dashed 
madly away towards the shores of the Mediterranean. 

“ The baron’s mad son is off again !” cried the peasants, as 
I galloped past their farm houses. 

In three days I stood upon the deck of my vessel. 

In obedience to my orders, the captain’s hand literally rested 
upon the helm. 

All that day he had been standing with his eyes riveted upon 
the shore, for something told him that I could not be far 

Everything was in readiness, even to the last biscuit. 

As Bulger and I leaped over the rail, my good ship rounded 
to the wind, and darted awrny like a thing of life. 

The blood tingled in my veins at sight of the blue waves and 
white bellying sails. 

Bulger gave vent to his satisfaction in mad gambols and 
ear-piercing barks. 

It was certainly an auspicious beginning. 

Leaving the command of the ship to the mate, the captain 
joined me in the cabin, where I unfolded to him my project of 
sailing in the Southern seas in quest of a long-forgotten 

He made haste to unroll his chart and adjust his spectacles, 
in order to fix the location of the island when I should give 
him the latitude and longitude. 

Fancy his almost consternation when I told him that the 
only proof I had of the existence of such an island was the 
brief mention in the ancient Roman newspaper. 

Was I mad? 

Did I care no more for life than to throw it away in such 
a foolhardy undertaking? 


Had I no idea of the rage of the terrible typhoon, the 
treachery of the hidden reef, the weight of the watery moun- 
tains which would topple on our deck ? 

Could I expect seamen to go where there was no record that 
the most adventurous sailors of past centuries had ever 
ploughed the water ? 

I smiled. 

“ Master,” said I, after a moment’s silence, “this ship is 
mine, and you have sworn to serve me like a true seaman, but 
if your courage has failed you, you shall be put ashore at the 
first port we make. Go !” 

“Nay, little baron,” cried the skipper, “I was only testing 
your resolution. If you have the courage to sail into unknown 
seas, I have the courage to follow you, come bright skies and 
calm waters or come storm clouds and thunderbolt !” 

I shook the old man’s hand, and bade him go on deck, for 
at last sleep had come to my wakeful eyes — the first time in 
three whole weeks — and I wanted to be alone. 

In a few days we passed the Straits of Gibraltar and turned 
southward, keeping the African coat in sight. 

I passed my time perfecting myself in the Latin language, 
and often called forth very vigorous protestations from Bulger 
by addressing him in that tongue, and making use of him as a 
sort of audience before which I delivered my speeches after I 
had rounded them and polished them. 

The only stops we made now were for water or provisions. 

By daylight and starlight my staunch ship bounded along on 
her course as if some friendly nereids were pushing at her 
stern. In the long watches of the night I lay in my hammock 
and pictured to myself that Roman galley as it bore those 
seven exiles with kith and kin away from their beloved land 

Ere another moon had bent her crescent in the evening sky we 
had reached the Cape, and came to anchor with intent to over- 
haul our ship most thoroughly before going farther southward 

This occupied several days. 

I chafed under the delay. 



Ten times a day I summoned the ship’s master to my cabin 
and urged him to make greater haste. He bore with me most 
patiently. My heart gave a leap, when, at last, I heard the 
master order the crew to set the sails. 

The seamen were singing and tugging away at the main- 
sheets as I stepped upon the deck. 

“ How shall I head her, little Baron ?” asked the master, 
raising his hand to his cap. 

“ Head to the southard ! ” I replied. 

He stood transfixed. 

He had thought that we would round the Cape and follow 
the usual course to the Indies. 

His lips move as if to protest. 

I cut him short, however, with an imperious wave of the 

Several of the sailors, noticing the pallor which had over- 
spread the captain’s face, drew near and stood gazing upon us, 
half wonderingly, half inquiringly. 

“ Captain ! ” said I calmly, but quite loud enough to be over- 
heard by the men standing in a group near by, “ my pistols were 
made by the Emperor’s armorer. They never miss fire. Let me 
find you .changing this vessel’s course a single point east or 
west of south and I’ll kill you in your tracks ! ” 

Saying this I walked away. 

From that moment all went well. 

The ship’s master saw that I was determined to have my way, 
even if I lost my life in consequence, and he yielded. 

Turning around to the group of sailors, I called out : 

“ A thousand ducats to the man who first sights land ! ” 

A hearty cheer rent the air, and calling to Bulger to follow 
me, I went below to think. 

That night I not only took the precaution to hang a lanthorn 
so that I could lie in my hammock and see a ship’s compass at 
any time I might awake, but, fearful lest some treachery might 
be attempted, I ordered my faithful Bulger to sleep with Ms 
back against the door so that the least vibration would arouse 



Night after night these precautions were followed out most 
strictly. During the day, too, my pistols were always in my 

Bulger felt the danger I was in, and he, by his vigilance 
gave me the advantage of eyes in the back of my head. 

A low growl warned me of the approach of the master or one 
of the crew. 

Thus protected and guarded, I felt that nothing save a general 
mutiny need be feared. And this 1 knew to be almost impossi- 
ble, for a number of the crew were too devoted to me to listen 
to any traitorous proposals. They would have slain the master 
in cold blood had he dared to breathe the word mutiny ! 

Things went very well for about ten days when I saw that a 
terrible struggle was going on in the captain’s mind. 

I began to fear that he might lose his reason and throw him- 
self into the sea. 

His face took on a yellow-greenish hue. 

He was literally dying of fright. 

One morning he threw himself upon his knees in front of me, 
and with tear-stained cheeks implored me to put back to the 
African coast again. 

I did all I could to quiet him, but in vain. 

His reason was slowly but surely giving way. 

Calling the mate to me, I put him in comamnd of the vessel, 
and directed him to confine the captain in his cabin and place 
a guard over him. 

It cut me to the heart to be obliged to do this, for the poor 
fellow begged like a dog to be left in command of his ship. 

But I was deaf to his entreaties. 

I felt that now all trouble was at an end. 

The wind was blowing fifteen knots an hour. 

Every stitch of sail had been crowded on. 

We fairly leapt out of the water like a thing of life, half Hy- 
ing half swimming. 

Ever and anon I glanced at the compass. 

She was heacled dead south. 

My cheeks tingled and I could feel the flow of warm blood 
through every vein in my body. 



The moon went up like a shield of burnished gold. The sea 
glittered like liquid fire. Anon, a porpose leaped into the air 
and sent a thousand ripples circling away as he plunged into 
the water again 

Our good ship cleft the glassy bosom of the sea like some 
huge black monster of the deep, and left a trail of fire in her 
wake as far as the eye could reach. 

Towards midnight I went to rest. 

But neither rest nor sleep was possible. 

Half undressing, I threw myself into my hammock, and Bul- 
ger took his accustomed place at the door. 

The lanthorn was not strong enough to overcome the light 
of the full moon. It streamed through the bull’s eyes in 
weird, fantastic rays, and crowded my cabin with strange and 
mysterious forms. 

They were seven ! 

Their faces and figures were godlike, so white, so beauti- 
ful were they. 

There was an indescribable sadness in their full dark eyes. 

They spake not a word. 

Suddenly the paneling of the cabin ceiling parted, and dis- 
closed a staircase wrapped in dim, uncertain light. 

Adown these steps came a most gracious being, so white and 
fair and lovely that I gazed with bated breath. 

Down, down it came, nearer and nearer. 

She needed but wings to be an angel ! 

But, oh ! her fair face was so filled with sorrow ! 

Her lips were parted, her long black hair fell in confused 
tresses on her shoulders. 

She stepped into the cabin. And then, with a quick, dread 
look, her gaze fell upon the seven bowed figures. 

“ Paula ! ” they cried, and drew their white robes over their 

* * * * * * 

“ Land ho ! Land ho ! ” 

What ! Could I believe mv ears ? 



“ Land ho ! Land ho ! ” 

With a bound I sprang from my hammock and rushed upon 

Ay, it was true ! There, half a mile ahead of us, was a 
sight that stunned me like the blow of a bludgeon. 

Land it was, but not such a land as in my wildest dreams I 
had hoped to find. 

Ten thousand lights glimmered on that mysterious shore, and 
illumined the front of a Roman temple whiter than milk. A 
marble staircase of the same hue led down to the very water’s 

A sacrifice was in progress. 

From the highest terrace a column of black smoke curled 
slowly upward. 

No sound reached my ear. 

I stood almost bereft of my senses. 

At last, my power of speech returned. I ordered anchor to 
be cast, and clinging to the shrouds of my good ship, gazed long 
and joyfully upon the entrancing scene. 

The land rose in natural terraces from the seashore, and no 
matter in what direction you looked, your eye caught glimpses 
of a graceful statue or group of statuary gleaming in the white 
moonlight, amid the dark foliage, like wliite-robed figures 
astray in a wood. 

“ It must be ! ” I murmured to myself. 

“ I have found it ! This Roman temple, this marble stair- 
way, these groups of statuary, all point to the glorious success 
of my voyage of discovery. This is the Sculptors’ Isle ! ” 

How long I stood there gazing upon this beautiful shore I 
know not. Some one pulling gently at my sleeve roused me 
from my reverie. 

It was Bulger. 

I stooped and stroked his head for a few moments. 

Suddenly I awoke to a sense of great weariness, and casting 
another glance toward that mysterious shore, I turned and de- 
scended to the cabin. 

1 soon fell into a deep sleep. 



The terrible strain upon my nerves since leaving the Cape, 
caused by the half mutiny of the crew, the insanity of the ship's 
master, and the long watches through which I had lain and 
listened for the cry of land, had at last told upon me. 

The sun was several hours high when I sprang out of my 
hammock and rushed upon deck. 

Could it all have been a dream ? Should I find the noble 
temple, staircase of marble, and all the towering statues melted 
away into thin air ? 

Ah no ! 

That beautiful shore was still there, unrolled before my won- 
dering eyes like some fair picture full of light and grace and 
delicious coloring. 

“ Man the launch ! I called out and in quicker time than it 
takes to tell it, I was on my way to the shore of the Sculptors’ 

Faithful Bulger sat beside me, his eyes bright and expressive 
as he gazed into my face. 

Landing at the foot of the marble stairway, I sprang lightly 
out of the launch, followed by Bulger, and bounded up the 
marble steps. 

There were three landings before I reached the level of the 
temple, from each of which the outlook grew more and more 
delightful. In truth, it was a glorious approach to produce 
which art and nature had fairly outdone themselves. At 
length I cleared the last flight of steps, and with a throbbing 
heart crossed the tessellated court and paused in front of the 
entrance to the temple. 

The embers were still smouldering on the altar, around which 
stood several white-robed priests with low-bowed heads and 
averted faces. Unwilling to break in upon their solemn office, 
I turned and followed a broad way, paved with marble and 
shaded by most graceful trees and trailing vines. 

At every step my eyes fell upon some statue of ravishing 
beauty — now nymphs; now goddess; now Jove himself; now 
the great Caesar; now the fair Graces; now terrible Pluto; 
now smiling Ceres ; now the crescent-crowned Diana, accoutered 



for the chase ; now dancing satyrs ; now goat-footed Pan ; now 
some Roman hero or statesman ; and ever and anon, came the 
figure of a maiden, wondrously fair, but with an unutterable look 
of sadness upon her beautiful face. So often did the same 
figure meet my gaze that I was led at last to approach its ped- 
estal in hopes of finding some explanation. I gave a cry of 
pleasure as my eyes fell upon the name sculptured there. 

It was Paula. 

Now every doubt was dissipated. 

I had indeed found the Sculptors’ Isle 

Broad winding paths, leading right and left, now lured my 
footsteps. No fairy land could be more beautiful. 

Golden fruit glistened ’mid the dark green leaves. 

Flowers of countless hues bloomed on every side, sending 
forth the most delicate perfumes. Trailing vines hung in 
graceful festoons or twined around the pedestals of the statues, 
carrying their white blossoms to the whiter hands of these 
silent and motionless inhabitants of this region of loneliness. 
1 say inhabitants, for as yet my eye had seen no living creature, 
save the priests grouped about the altar. 

Have I landed upon the shores of an island, upon which 
nature, with a lavish hand, has bestowed stately forests, placid 
lakes, purling brooks, trees laden with delicious fruits, plants 
waving their flowery tassels and plumes in the perfumed air, 
vines trailing their richly variegated foliage from tree to tree, 
a radiant sky above, a soil clad with velvety verdure beneath, 
only to find it abandoned, deserted of man ; a thing of beauty 
and yet loneliness, a tnere polished and painted shell, out of 
which all life has gone f orever ? ” ' 

Such was the train of thought which busied my mind as I 
strolled along through these winding paths paved with marble 
shut in by a leafy roof, through which ever and anon the sun- 
light burst to light up the masterpieces of the sculptor’s art, 
around whose pedestals climbed and clambered scores of flow- 
ering vines, some carrying in their curved laps clusters of ber- 
ries, brighter in hue than burnished gold, others holding out to 
the passer-by bunches of grapes deeper in purple than the 
Lydian d} r e. 



As I pursued my way through, this enchanted garden, in 
which the swaying lily stalks bent their perfumed-filled cups 
down to my cheeks and the trees dropped their gold and purple 
fruit at my feet, while deep in the hosky thicket of red-leaved 
shrubs and silken-tufted pine, the melancholy nightingale 
warbled his liquid melody in slow and plaintive measure, my 
heart yearned for the sound of a human voice. 

“Would that some living being,” I cried, “no matter how 
bent and twisted in figure, or how discordant in voice, might 
come forth to meet me in this beautiful solitude.” 

I noticed now that my path was ascending a gently sloping 
hillock. I quickened my pace, for I was anxious to stand upon 
some elevation, so that I could command a more extensive view 
of the outlying country. 

As I gained the summit of the hillock, a scene of indescriba- 
ble beauty met my gaze. 

As far as the eye could reach I saw unrolled beneath me a 
landscape of such surpassing loveliness that I paused spell- 
bound. Imagine a valley shut in by wooded heights, through 
which a silvery stream courses tranquilly ; here a forest giant 
spreads its far-reaching limbs, and there a clump of fruit trees 
display their load of golden treasures in the sunlight ; on this 
side flowering shrubs shine white as ivory against the dark 
greensward, on that with trailing vines and trimmed copses, 
man’s hand has built many a shady bower of fantastic outline ; 
to this add scores of statues posed in every conceivable attitude 
of grace and beauty — here a group, there a single figure, and 
farther on by twos and threes, standing, reclining, sitting, at 
play, in meditation, listening, reading, thrumming stringed 
instruments, in attitudes of the chase, casting the quoit, or 
reaching up to pluck fruit or flowers. 

“ Is this a dream ? ” I murmured. “ Am I not the sport of 
some mischievous spirit of the place ? ” 

From this deep reverie the loud barking of Bulger aroused 
me with shock-like violence. 

I looked in the direction of the sound. 

Poor, foolish dog, he was gamboling about one of the statues 
and amusing himself in waking the echoes with his voice. 



I was a little nettled by the interruption, and called to him to 
cease his barking. 

It seemed to me almost a sacrilege to disturb the deep repose 
of this fair valley. 

Again the barking broke forth. This time Bulger’s strange 
antics were wilder than before. 

He seemed fairly beside himself bounding around and around 
the statue which was that of a young man in the act of reaching 
aloft for fruit or flowers — and giving vent to a sort of half 
anger, half mischief, in a series of barks, growls and whinings. 
Rare indeed was it that Bulger did not give heed to my wishes, 
no matter how faintly expressed, but now, not even a threaten- 
ing tone of voice seemed to have the slightest effect upon him. 

He continued his mad gamboling and sharp, angry barking. 
Determined to reproach him most severely for his disobedience, 
I strode angrily toward him. 

I drew near. 

I looked ! I saw ! 

Ashes of my forefathers, what? The statue had wide- 
opened eyes. The statue had the blush of life on its cheeks. 

Motion, movement, even to a hair’s breadth, there was none ! 
And yet these fair blue eyes were bent upon Bulger in half- 
inquisitive, half -wondering gaze. 

I rubbed my eyes and looked again. 

I took a step forward. 

Suddenly a wave of fear crept over me like the flow of icy 
water. Would the living marble, as it warmed to life, moved 
b} r some long pent-up passions, raise its hand and strike me 

Gathering myself together, I glanced toward a group of 
maidens at play beneath the shade of a leafy roof of arched 
branches and interlacing vines. 

Quicker than it takes to tell it, I sprang forward and fixed 
my gaze upon their faces. 

Death could not hold the human form in attitude more 
motionless than theirs. 

And yet their eyes were filled with strange light. 


Upon their fair faces the red tint of life glowed, bright and 
warm ! 

Where was I ? 

A strange feeling of half dread, half delight, now swept over 

And still I dared not speak. My voice will break the spell 
by which all these breathing children of earth’s flinty breast 
keep their hold on life, and they will fade away to nothingness. 

And now the eyes of her nearest me— of deeper black than 
polished coal, appeared bent full upon me. I could see, I 
thought, the glisten of those ebon orbs, as if a tear had broken 
over them. 

Her hand was outstretched. 

What if I touch it, thought I, to see if it have the warmth 
of life within it, or whether it be not in truth a thing of stone, 
and I the sport of some mischievous spirit of the island ? 

I’ll do it, if I’m slain like a poor worm, which, warmed by 
an approaching flame crawls to meet it. 

I touched its finger-tips ! 

O, wondrous thing ! 

They were not of stone, but of softest, warmest flesh ! 

I staggered back, expecting to see the group vanish in thin 

But no ; it moved not. 

It stood as motionless as before ! 

And now I felt my limbs grow strong beneath me. 

I determined to speak, come evil or come good ! 

Fixing my gaze upon their fair young faces, I uncovered 
and addressed them thus : 

“O, strange and mysterious beings, resent not this bold 
intrusion of a puny mortal upon your sacred repose ! Speak 
to me ! If ye so will, let me take my feet off the soil of your 
fair island. But ere I go, speak to me, let me know whether 
ye be not the creations of some spirit of this isle, or whether 
ye are really living, breathing beings !” 

No sound issued from those rosy lips, parted as if in the 
very act of speaking. 



No movement, no tremor, came to break the marble-like 
pose of these fair figures. 

A whole minute elapsed. 

To me it seemed an eternity. 

I stood riveted to the ground in most anxious suspense. 

The minutes dragged their heavy bodies along one after 

But joy unutterable ! 

Their lips begin to move. 

A smile, almost imperceptible at first, spreads slowly, slowly, 
over their faces. 

The crimson of their cheeks takes on a deeper hue. 

Their eyes bend a most sweet and friendy look upon me. 

The w T ord “ we ” falls gently on my ear. 

Another pause ! 

I lean forward, in most painful suspense, to catch the next 
faint syllable. 

It came at last. 

“ Live t” 

“ They live !” I cried in a loud and joyous voice, “ they live ! 
I am not the sport of any strange divinity. These figures are 
not cold and senseless marble, but warm-blooded, breathing, 
thinking, living beings !” 

I cannot tell you the depth of my satisfaction that this 
discovery was made by my loved Bulger. He saw the terrible 
perplexity which had come upon his master, and hastened to 
his rescue ; not frowning face, not threatening voice was suf- 
ficient to turn him from his purpose of letting light in upon 
my darkened mind. In my deep contrition, I could scarcely 
bring myself to speak his name. 

I felt how unworthy of his love I was. 

But he pardoned me with a nobility of character more than 
human and spake his forgiveness by covering my hands with 
caresses and uttering a series of soft low barks. 

With Bulger by my side, I now mingled with these flesh and 
blood companions of the island’s marble dwellers, passing from 
one group to another in speechless wonderment. Ay, in good 



faith they were alive, hut not more so than the flowers, the 
shrubs, the trees, the vines which helped to make up the lovely 
scene of which they were the brightest and fairest ornaments. 

The vines moved from place to place more rapidly than they, 
the flowers oped their buds more quickly than the maidens did 
their lips. Like beautiful figures of wax, moved by the slow 
uncoiling of some hidden spring, these living statues passed 
hours, nay days, in rising to their feet or sinking down upon 
the velvety greensward. 

For several hours I stood watching the white hand of a 
maiden as it reached forward, with imperceptible motion to 
pluck a red-cheeked peach which hung beside her. A full hour 
went by ere those delicate fingers were clasped around the 
peach, another ere it had been carried to her lips. There, all day 
long, she held it pressed, but as the sun went down behind the 
wooded hills, it fell from her loosened grasp and rolled towards 
my feet. I slowly stooped, for I was not long in discovering 
that my quick movements pained these animated statues, and 
picked it up. I could feel that some of the pulp had been drawn 
from the luscious fruit, but the skin was hardly broken, so 
gently had she fed upon it. 

At this moment, seeing a smile upon the face of one of the 
maiden’s I turned to find upon whom she bent her gaze. 

It was a handsome youth, who stood, perhaps fifty feet distant, 
with his eyes fixed beamingly upon the maiden’s. 

“ Surely ” thought I, “ affection will, as in other lands, quicken 
their movements ; they will advance toward each other some- 
what rapidly now. 

But no, the long twilight yielded little by little to the deeper 
shadows ; night came ; the moon set her glowing disc in the 
heavens, and yet that youth was not near enough to clasp the 
hand of the maiden he loved. 

From the first coming of the twilight, smiles had been slowly 
gathering upon the faces of the other youths and maidens, 
whose eyes were turned upon the lovers. 

At this moment a gentle “ha!” fell upon my ear, and, after 
the lapse of half an hour, another and louder “ ha ! ” followed 



it, to be, after a still longer pause, followed by still another 
“ ha ! ” This last “ ha !” was lengthened out into a clear and 
ringing note which lasted several seconds. Then it grew fainter 
and fainter, and died away like a spent echo. Their mirth was 

As I was threading my way among these living statues, one 
morning, I came upon a group of children at play. 

At first I could not see that they had noticed my coming at all, 
but after the lapse of a quarter of an hour I discovered that 
their large beautifully clear eyes were slowly turning toward me, 
so I determined to sit down near by and observe them. Fancy 
my delight upon finding that a delicate thread-like flowering 
vine had twined around and around the body of a little golden- 
haired maid of about seven, encircled her neck with its many 
colored leaves and coral berries, and coiled itself like a crown 
of gold and crimson upon her soft ringlets, dropping its blos- 
soms and tendrils gently down around her head and shoulders. 

Seeing my astonishment, and hearing my words of delight, a 
mild-faced woman seated near me slowly, slowly raised her 
hands and extended her fingers to make me understand that 
these little cherubs had been ten days at play there upon the 

“This beautiful vine,” thought I, “has joined in their sport. 
As much alive as they, it is in truth one of their playmates, 
and has wound itself lovingly around the child seated nearest 
to it. ” 

I looked again. Lo ! a tree loaded with delicious nuts was 
swinging in the breeze and shaking them into the laps of these 
children at play, while on the other side, a tall, graceful plant 
bearing cup-shaped fiowers of sunny whiteness, each of which 
1 noticed was filled with limpid water, drops of which sparkled 
in the sunlight like polished gems, gently brushed against the 
cheek of a smiling boy, as if to say : 

“ Drink, dear little brother ! ” 

“Wonderful!” cried I, “these happy creatures, these trees 
and flowers, these fruits and vines are all children of the same 
family. No storms ever come to darken these fair skies. Eter- 


nal spring reigns here. By daylight, starlight and moonlight 
their lives flow gently along like some broad, silvery stream, 
whose motion is too slow for human eye to note it. Mysterious 
people ! How shall 1 fathom the wonderful secret of your 
existence ? How shall I read the history of a people whose 
only books are speechless brooks and silent groves, whose 
tongues have so lost their power to interpret thought that 
months might go by and yet the mystery remain unsolved ! ” 

After a sojourn of a few days among the “ Slow Movers,” as I 
shall call them, I made a discovery which alarmed me greatly. 

I found that this mysterious silence, this strange fate which 
cast me among living creatures with whom converse was next 
to impossible, this utter inability to distinguish the living 
statues from the marble ones, was beginning to prey upon my 

Bulger noticed my ever-increasing melancholy, and exerted 
himself to amuse and comfort me. 

I responded but poorly to his thousand and one cunning tricks 
and laughable antics. 

In fact, I felt that my mind was gradually yielding to some 
dread influence which pervaded the very air, and which, even 
hour by hour, so gained in strength that I realized the necessity 
of making a superhuman effort to break away from the power 
it had already acquired over me, or else become myself a living- 
statue and brother to the forms of flesh and marble which 
inhabited this wonderland. 

I will not weary my readers with minute details of the plan 
which I had conceived to end the danger which threatened me, 
to snatch myself from the living death which I could already 
feel creeping over me. 

In my despair I determined to apply to the oldest of the Slow 
Movers, and throw myself upon his mercy, so to speak, to tell 
him of my longing to escape from the terrible fate threatening 
me, to return home to my beloved parents, who would go down 
in sorrow to their grayes if I, their sole child, their pride and 
their hope, should never come again to gladden their old age. 

But more than this, I determined if possible, to learn the his- 



tory of tRe island and its mysterious folk, and to that end I 
resolved to beseech him to indicate to me where I might find 
some record of their past, some book or parchment, so that I 
might not go through life burdened with the brain-racking 
thought that I had been powerless to solve this mystery — a 
thought, which, if it did not shorten my days, would most 
surely embitter them. 

As I have already explained, in attempting to converse with 
the Slow Movers I was confronted with a two-fold difficulty. 
In the first place, though I might burst with impatience, yet 
must I preserve a perfectly calm and placid exterior, and, in the 
second place, when, after the long and wearying delay, it came 
my turn to make reply, that reply must not exceed the snail’s 
pace of the Slow Movers’ speech, else their bright eyes clouded 
up and they seemed absolutely paralyzed by the rapidity of my 
utterance. Their eye-lids sank slowly down and they seemed 
to fall into a deep slumber, out of which it took hours to arouse 

At the first streak of dawn T sought out the aged Slow Mover, 
whom I had often noted in his leafy temple, seated on a marble 
pediment his eyes fixed on the silent stream which bathed the 
very roots of the trees, whose wide-spreading branches helped 
to roof over his habitation. 

All that day and the starry night which followed it, I sat at 
his feet. 

Picture to yourself my utter despair at learning that not a 
word or a line, not a leaf or a parchment, was in existence, 
which, might end my fearful anxiety. I say fearful, for 
stronger and stronger, hour by hour, grew the impulse to put an 
end to this life of useless, senseless activity and join the throng 
of living statues into whose heart no vain regrets came to 
darken their placid dream-life. 

On the morning of the second day a thought burst upon my 
mind. It was this : 

Perchance there may dwell, somewhere on this isle, some one 
living creature, who, unlike his brothers, may possess the 
power of rapid speech, whose tongue, for some reason or other, 
may have stayed loosened. 



I reasoned thus : In every land there were opposites, good and 
bad, beautiful and ugly, graceful and awkward, swift and slow. 
Surely on this isle must live such contrasts as these. True, 
it may be an exception ; but it would be most wonderful if it 
did not exist. 

All that day I spent in imparting unto the aged Slow Mover 
my train of thought. 

It was deep in the twilight ere I had succeeded in putting 
the question to him : Whether there was not some living 
creature dwelling on this island whose powers of speech were 
more like mine, and to whom I might, in my ever-increasing 
dread of transformation into a Slow Mover, flee for refuge 
from myself, for satisfaction of the irresistible longing pressing 
on my very soul. 

But the shades of evening were not so deep that I could not 
note the darker shadow which began to gather on the face of 
the aged Slow Mover when I had completed my question. 

I was startled 

So violent were the beatings of my heart that they sounded 
loud, though muffled, above the sighing of the zephyr, the 
rustle of the leaves, the plaintive warbling of the nightingale. 

As this shadow went on growing, ever deeper and deeper, on 
the old man’s A 7 isage, I felt that I had touched some ancient 
wound, which, though long-forgotten, now bled afresh. 

His lips parted, his head sank slowly, slowly, a sigh came 
forth, so full of meaning, so like a tale-bearer of some long 
hidden sorrow, that I feared for the worst. 

My limbs stiffened. 

I could feel the blood lessen its pace in my veins and go grop- 
ing along as if uncertain of its way. 

I pressed the tips of my fingers to my cheeks. They were 
cold as polished marble. 

I essayed to speak. The words would not come. 

At last I made a violent effort— 

“ Bulger ! ” I whispered. 

Poor dog, he slept at my feet. 

I struggled to escape the spell for one brief moment, that I 
might stoop to give my faithful friend a farewell caress. 



Hist ! 

The Slow Mover spoke. 

“ Son ! ” 

I was saved ! 

He had aught to say to me. 

The spell was broken. 

My heart began to beat again j the warm blood ran tingling 
through my veins. 

It was a narrow escape. 

Already my finger tips had cooled. 

Another moment and I would have joined the throng of Slow 
Movers, and become a brother to the marble dwellers on the 
Sculptors’ Isle. 

All that night the aged Slow Mover talked to me. And when 
the sun went up I knew all. I knew the secret which had so 
darkened his placid countenance. I knew the cave in which 
dwelt the hermit of the Sculptors’ Isle — an outcast, a prisoner, 
shut in between the narrow walls of a cavern by the sea, for 
no fault of his, for no sin, for no wrong. 

Nature had so willed it. 

Why, the aged Slow Mover knew not. 

Antonius was the name which the hermit bore. 

When morning came I sought him out. 

I found him seated by his cavern’s portal, looking out upon 
the glory of the eastern sky. 

This was the secret of his exile : 

Some cruel fate had, in his youth, visited him with a dread 
disease, not unlike that which is known as St. Vitus’ dance. 
When the fit was upon him, not only did he lose all control 
over his limbs, so that his feet bore him whither he willed 
not to go, and that, too, with extreme rapidity, but his arms 
likewise executed the most rapid and vigorous gestures, now 
in apparent anger, now entreaty, now wonder. You will readily 
understand why ill-fated Antonius came to be banished from 
the midst of the Slow Movers. 

Although their brother, and deeply beloved of them, his light- 
ning-like rapidity of motion, his violent gestures, his almost 



ceaseless change of attitude, not only offended the Slow 
Movers, it dazed them ; it shocked them ; it checked the sluggish 
flow of life blood within their veins, and threatened them all 
with slow but certain death. 

He must go ! 

He did! 

Antonius was banished to the cavern by the sea, where never 
came sound, save the ocean’s roar when lashed by the demons 
of the gale, or its sad murmur and ceaseless break and splash 
in its moments of slumber and rest. 

.But, most terrible of all the manifestations of the unfortunate 
Antonius’ fearful ailment was the utterly wild and ungovern- 
able rapidity of his speech. 

Like maddened steeds, tongue and lips rushed along ! 

To the eyes and ears of the Slow Movers, such a violently 
expressive face, such mad rapidity of utterance, were death 
itself ! 

Not one brief month would have found a living statue in that 
home of flinty hearts, had Antonius not gone ! 

Antonius was thankful for that dread decree, which housed 
him forever in the cavern by the sea ! 

He saw the sufferings of his people, and though his eyes 
in that brief time wept more tears than all his brethren ever had 
shed in their sluggish lives, yet were they but a poor proof 
of the awful grief he felt. 

Antonius turned towards me as I approached the spot 
where he sat wrapped in deep meditation. A sad, but withal 
kindly smile flitted about his lips, like the quick but faint 
glimmer of the lightning in the distant sky. 

He rose. 

I paused to await his bidding to approach him. 

He spake not a word, but stretched out his hand. 

I bounded forward to clasp it and press it to my lips. 

At that instant the fit fell on him. 

I could see the look of pain which flashed across his face. 

Away he glided, now backward, now forward, now sidewise, 
now obliquely, his hand outstretched in a desperate effort to 



reach me, who, with equal desperation, advanced and retreated 
in a mad endeavor to grasp what constantly eluded me. 

Bulger utterly unable to comprehend this wild dance among* 
the rocks of that cavernous shore, followed my heels barking 

I could take no time to quiet him. 

Away, away, sped Antonius with redoubled speed, his right 
hand extended toward me as if with a pitifuL prayer to grasp 
it and thus end the fit which was shaking his limbs so furiously. 

Pausing to catch my breath, I again pursued the flitting figure 
with a determination to overtake it or perish in the attempt. 

At last it seemed to circle in smaller and ever smaller rings. 

Now was my time ! 

I sprang upon that whirling form, with a sort of mad desper- 
ation, to seize and hold its outstretched hand. 

At length I held it. . 

But no ! 

His body had come to a rest, but now high over my head, now 
at my feet, now flashing up one side, now down the other, now 
whizzing in front of my eyes, now encircling my head like a 
bird in swift flight that hand went on, ever on, in its wild and 
mysterious course ! 

My strength was failing me ! 

Shall I ever be able to grasp it ! 

Antonius, too, showed signs of yielding to the awful power of 
the dread disease which tormented him ! 

His face took on a strange pallor ! His breast heaved con- 
vulsively. With one last despairing effort I succeeded in catch- 
ing his hand in its flight around my head ! 

I clung to it with desperate vigor ! 

My touch dispelled the venom from his veins. 

He seemed to awake as from some awful dream. He passed 
his hand across his eyes. 

He smiled. 

Still clinging to his hand, I gently forced him to be seated 
upon a rocky bench, over which the ocean had woven a velvety 
covering of sea-grass and weeds. 



“ Antonins ! ” I cried, “ peace come upon thee ! Forget thy 
suffering. Be as thou once wert ! My touch can give thee rest 
at least for a brief respite !” 

He pressed my hand. A deep sigh lifted his breast. It was 
the last gasp of the demon which oppressed him. 

He was now at rest. 

To me his utterance was rapid but not more so than that of 
jnany quick thinkers with whom I had conversed. 

“ What wouldst thou ? ” said he, in a low but strangely sweet, 
mild voice. 

I unfolded to him the object of my coming. 

I went back to the finding of the Roman newspaper and my 
departure from home. 

All, all } I told him all ; how I had come into the home of the 
Slow Movers, how I had mistaken them for marble like the 
rest of the figures about the island, how I longed to have the 
mystery cleared up. 

All that day Antonius and I sat by the sea in most delightful 

Only once, at high noon, did he set a brief limit to his tale 
while we passed into his cavern to partake of food and drink. 

With a high-bounding heart, I listened to his story of the land- 
ing of the Seven Sculptors upon the isle. Their first task had 
been to rear the glorious temple with its long flight of marble 
steps leading down to the sea. Then they, and, later, their sons, 
and their sons’ sons, had set to work to people this beautiful 
island with almost countless figures of the rarest grace and 

in the forests, by the river’s banks, through the valley, on 
the hillside, adown the terraces, to the very water’s edge, rose 
the faultless statues in wondrous beauty and profusion. 

Here, there and everywhere, forms of matchless grace 
gleamed, snow white amid the leafy bowers or tangled under- 

A mysterious ardor burned within the hearts of these exiled 
artists. It would seem that theirs was a wild sort of hope 
to rear on that far-distant isle another Rome — an infant 



daughter, but fairer and whiter in her marble magnificence 
than the glorious mother who sate upon her seven hills ! 

Times and times again, aye, thrice three score and ten, the 
wretched Paula arose out of the quarried blocks, ever fair 
and ever fairer, now bent in awful grief, now putting the very , 
skies to shame with the entrancing beauty of her upturned, 
pleading, sweet and pitiful face. 

Here and there, too, stood great Caesar, never to be forgotten 
for his godlike clemency in snatching the sculptors from ter- 
rible death. 

As the second century of the exile dawned upon the little 
Roman Kingdom, far away beneath the Southern skies, at the 
very moment when the colony was waxing strong and vigorous 
a strange and mysterious thing happened to the dwellers in 
this island home of sweet content. 

No more male children were born ! 

The seven sculptors, now bent with age, and their faces 
hollowed by the sharp chisels of remorse, went, one after the 
other to the dark realm of Death. 

Their sons, too, came into ripe manhood. And their sons 
grew up, happy in the possession of that glorious talent which 
had peopled the isle with such matchless forms of beauty. 

But now the race had reached the end of its long reign in 
the world of art. 

Decade after decade slipped away, and still there came not 
one male child to gladden a scuptor’s home. 

A sort of blank despair sank upon the colony. 

The elder sculptors laid their chisels down in utter hopeless- 

Even the younger wrought less and less. 

Still there came no boy to wake the old-time song and laughter 
of that once joyous island home. 

Fingers cunning in art grew stiff with age. 

Hearts full of glorious inspiration waxed dull and spiritless ! 
One by one they all went the way which mortal feet must 

A terrible, a wonderful change came over the people. 



Weighed down by this leaden grief, surrounded day and 
night by these speechless, motionless marble forms, which, 
although silent as the very clod itself, yet cried out unceas- 
ingly : “ (live us more companions in these solitudes !” these 
unfortunate people almost turned to marble itself. 

They became, in good sooth, brothers and sisters to the marble 
dwellers on this island. 

At length the end came ! 

The last sculptor was laid upon the carved bier of the great 
white temple by the sea ! 

A silence so long, so deep, so dreadful, fell upon the people 
that it almost seemed their speech was lost forever. 

Within the dark grottoes and bosky underwood, they crawled 
to hide away from the very light of day. 

Their limbs, once so supple and elastic, ever ready to bear 
their owners over hill and across plain, delighting in the 
dance, inured to the race, now became heavy and slow. 

They seemed almost about to turn to stone, and join the 
silent compan}^ around them. 

In good sooth, such a fate was imminent, when the happening 
of a joyful event averted it. 

A year had passed since the last sculptor had gone to join 
the shadowy caravan which moves forever across the desert 
of Eternal Silence, when his seven sad-faced daughters were 
fairly startled by an infant’s cry. 

But look ! 

Their widowed mother stands before them with a babe 
nestled in her arms. 

It is a son ! 

The joyful tidings can only creep from family to family. 

Alas ! it was too late to call them back to old-time customs 
and habits, too late to start their blood again in old-time 
bounding, leaping course through their veins. 

They were a changed people ! 

True, their happiness came again, but it was not the same. 
They could smile and laugh, but it w^as scarcely more than 
faces of marble moved by some mysterious power. They could 



I / // I'MiLh 

remarkable behavior of a bust of c^sar in the LAN 




talk, but so slowly fell the words that it almost seemed some 
statue spoke amid the leafy coverts of the island. They could 
move, but snail or tortoise outstripped them with ease. 

Ay, the} r were changed indeed; fated henceforth to people 
their beautiful island home with living statues. 

For years in long flight sped away, till one century followed 
another, and yet the wondrous talent came back no more. 

It was lost forever ! 

Long, long ago, too, the people forgot the story of their 

It is kept alive in the hearts of a few chosen ones, and they 
hand it down, each quarter century, to younger keepers selected 
for the purpose. 

To Antonius the secret had been thus confided. 

And such was the tale he told to me ! 

With a light heart, now that its weight of doubt and uncer- 
tainty had been lifted from it, I bade Antonius farewell, and, 
followed by Bulger wended my way back to the abodes of the 
Slow Movers. 

As I passed through one of the groves peopled with marble 
forms, I paused, I hardly knew why, in front of an admirable 
bust of the great Caesar. 

Bulger joined me, and there we stood, children of this late 
day, with our eyes uplifted to the face of him whose smallest 
word was once copied down on waxen tablet as if it were the 
utterance of a god. 

I had always liked Caesar. 

We resembled each other in many ways. 

We were both men of action. 

I felt sorry for him now, that he should be forced to live, even 
in the shape of marble, among such dull and inactive people as 
the Slow Movers. 

I told him so. 

“And yet, Julius,” said I, “called of men the Great 
Caesar, what a fortunate thing it is that thou art not living 
now, for thou wouldst be overcome with shame at finding every- 
body reading my adventures while the book which thou wrotest 



concerning Gaul lies mouldy and dust-covered on the shelves of 
the libraries ! ” 

The following day, in passing that way again, and glancing up 
at great Caesar’s face, I noticed that a smile had just started 
in the right corner of his mouth. So stolid had he become 
through his long residence among the Slow Movers that he had 
just begun to be amused by the remark I had made on the previ- 
ous day. 

Thoughts of home now arose in my mind. * 

The fact is that shortly after my interview with Antonius 
in his cavern by the sea, Bulger had commenced to show un- 
mistakable signs of home-sickness. So I dispatched him with 
a note to the officer of my vessel to begin preparations at once 
for the return voyage. 

Bulger made haste to execute the commission. 

He proceeded to the foot of the marble staircase, and then by 
loud barking attracted the attention of the officer whom I had 
left in command. 

He sent a boat ashore and Bulger met it with my letter in his 

To tell the truth, I would have fain lingered for a week or 
so longer among the Slow Movers, but it was plain to be seen 
that they were growing restive at my presence. 

On the cheeks of many of them all signs of ruddy peach- 
bloom had disappeared. 

Day by day they grew more and more like their marble 

My quick movements so wearied their eyes that after a few 
hours’ stay in their midst I found myself surrounded by a com- 
pany of deep sleepers 

Nor dared I speak. 

For no matter how I softened my voice, or how slowly I 
uttered my words, they jarred upon the delicate ears of the 
Slow Movers, and signs of suffering gradually passed over 
their faces. 

My resolution was therefore quickly formed. 

With a snail’s pace I passed from group to group, from bower 



to bower, from grove to grove, saying in a soft and measured 
tone : “ Fare well ! Fare w r ell !” 

Then I directed my steps toward the white temple by the sea, 
for I knew my boat’s crew were waiting for me at the foot of 
the marble staircase. 

As I passed in front of Great Caesar’s statue I turned to wave 
a last adieu. 

What saw I, think you ? 

Why, that same smile which had begun in the right corner 
of his mouth several days ago, had crossed over to the other 
side of his face and was just at the left corner of his mouth. 

On the right side, whence it had come, all was as stern and 
calm as when he sat enthroned at Rome, and ruled the world. 

Several hours later, as we were busj T setting the sails of my 
good ship there fell upon my ear in a soft, echo-like tone, the 

“ Fare ! ” 

The Slow Movers had begun to speak their adieu. The winds 
were favorable. 

The sails filled. 

As the sun went down, pouring a flood of golden light 
upon the beautiful marble staircase, the great white temple 
and the many snowy statues which gleamed so bright and fair 
amid the dark foliage of the trees and vines upon the terraces of 
that mysterious island I threw myself upon the deck with 
intent to keep my eyes fixed upon the lovely scene as long as 

My good ship sailed away in deepest silence. For I had given 
orders that no one should speak above a whisper. 

Now the Sculptors’ Isle had faded to a mere speck in the 
horizon, and now, in the gathering shades of night, it was 
swallowed up, and lost forever ! 

My heart grew heavy. 

Bulger nestled his head in my lap, with his loving eyes fixed 
full upon me. 

Sleep overcame us both. 

The sky was star-studded when we awoke. 



The cool night wind had refreshed me. 

1 sprang up with the intention of going below. At that 
instant there came floating along on the evening breeze, like a 
mountain echo nearly spent, a soft mysterious sound. 

My ear caught it ! It was : 

“W— e 1 — 1 ! 

The Slow Movers had finished speaking their adieu. 



Once more I grow tired of the quiet pleasures of home. The elder Baron 
opposes my leaving the land. His reasons. How I freed the ancestral 
estates from the pests of moles, meadow-mice and ground-squirrels ; 
and how I set out for the Indies with my faithful Bulger. 1 enter a 
wild and untrodden territory. Wonderful transformation of day into 
night, and night into day. The huge tire-flies. My capture of one and 
what it brought forth. How I reached the borders of Palin -ma-Talin, 
the Great Gloomy Forest. Bene-aga the blind guide. My sojourn in 
his cave. I enter Palin-ma-Talin under his guidance. Strange 
adventures in the Great Gloomy Forest. Bene-aga takes leave of me. 
My advance is blocked by Boga-Drappa, the Dread Staircase. My 
flight down its treacherous steps. I enter the land of the Umi-Lobas. 
or Man-Hoppers. Am carried a prisoner to their king. Something 
about him and his people. King Garoo’s affection for me. His gift 
to me of copies of all the books in the royal library — All about the 
princess Hoppa-Hoppa. I am condemned to a life-long imprisonment 
among the Umi-Lobas. I plan an escape. How it was done. Efforts 
of King Ga-roo to capture me. Farewell of little princess Hoppa- 
Hoppa. How I sailed away from the land of the Umi-Lobas, and 
made my way back across India. My return home. 

Like all lovers of a rov- 
ing life, I was not long in 
growing tired of the quiet 
ways and simple pursuits of 
the inmates of The old 
baronial hall. 

At times, I felt like an 
intruder, when I caught 
myself sitting with eyes 
riveted upon the pages of 
some musty, old volume of 
strange adventure in far- 
away lands, while the elder 
baron, the gracious baron- 
ess, my loving mother, and 
several cousins from the 
neighboring estate, gave 
themselves up to the sweet 



pleasures of the fireside, feasting upon honey-cake, drinking hot 
spiced wine, playing at draughts, dominoes, or cards, now chat- 



ting in the most animated manner of the trivial things of every- 
day life, now bursting out into uproarious laughter at some un- 
expected victory won at cards or at some fireside game. 

Silently closing my book, and still more silently stealing away, 
I sought the quiet of m} r apartments, where, with no other 
companions, save faithful Bulger, I gave myself up to unre- 
strained indulgence in waking dreams of life in a storm-rocked 
ship, landings on strange shores, parleyings with curious beings, 
battling with the wild-visaged typhoon, or hurrying with sails 
close-reefed and hatches battened down, to gain a safe port ere 
the storm king’s ebon chargers could rattle their hoofs over 
our heads. 

My dear mother, the gracious baroness, made extraordinary 
exertions to drive away my low spirits. 

Knowing my fondness for coffee cake, she suffered no one to 
make it for me excepting herself. And at dinner she took care 
to place a professor or ;some learned person beside me, so that 
I might not find myself condemned to silence for the want of 
a gifted mind to measure mental swords with. 

But all to no purpose. I grew daily more taciturn, absent- 
minded, and plunged into meditation. With my eyes fixed 
upon vacancy, I sat like one with unbalanced mind amidst the 
lightest-hearted merrymakers. In vain the company besought 
me to relate past adventures, to tell them tales already thrice 
told. I only shook my head with a mournful smile, and 
made good my escape from scenes which were painful to me. 

Bulger felt that his little master was suffering, and coaxed 
with plaintive whining to have me make known to him the 
cause of my grief. _ > 

His joy was wild and boisterous when he saw my body- 
servant enter my apartments, bearing an empty traveling 
chest upon his shoulders. 

To tell the truth, life at the baronial hall pleased Bulger 
not a whit more than it did me. 

The house dogs annoyed him with their attentions, and he 
was wont to retire from the dining hall with a look of utter 
disgust upon his face, when one of the family cats, in the 



most friendly spirit, drew near and tasted a bit of his dinner. 

All caresses, too, from other hands than mine were distasteful 
to him; and, although for my sake he would permit the 
gracious baroness to stroke his silken ears, yet any familiarity 
on the part of the elder baron was firmly, but respectfully, 

The very moment I saw my chests placed here and there in 
my apartments, my spirits rose. I became like another being. 
The color returned to my cheeks, the gleam to my eye, the 
old-time ring to my voice. 

From lip to lip, the word was jrnssed : “ The little baron is 
making ready for another journey !” 

From early morn to deepening shadows of twilight, I busied 
myself with superintending the packing of my boxes. It was 
a labor of love with me. 

1 never was born for a calm life beneath the time-stained 
tiles of paternal halls ! My heart was filled with redder, 
warmer blood than ordinary mortals. My brain never slept. 
Night and day, shadowy forms of men and things, strange and 
curious, swept along before me in never-ending files. 

One morning, while at work with my boxes, a low knock at 
my chamber door fell upon my ear. Bulger, scenting an enemy, 
gave a low growl. I swung the door open. It was the elder 

“ Honored father,” I cried gayly, “ act as if thou wert master 
here ! Be sad, be gay ; sit, stand, drink, eat, or fast !” 

“ Little baron, ” began my father in a solemn voice, “ I beseech 
thee give over thy jesting. When thou hast heard the object 
of my visit, grief will chase every vestige of mirth from thy 
light heart.” 

“ Speak baron !” 

“ Art thou a dutiful and loving son ?” asked my father, fixing 
his dark, mournful eyes full upon me. 

“ I am ! ” 

“ ? Tis well ! ” he replied “ then arrest this making ready to 
to abandon thy parents in their hour of misfortune. Put an 
end to all this unseemly hurlyburly, and to thy longing to be 
gone from beneath the paternal roof.” 



The clouded face, trembling and tear -filled eyes of the elder 
baron shocked me. I could feel the blood leaving my cheeks, 
where, till then, it had bloomed like the glow of ripening fruit. 

But I checked myself ; and, motioning the baron to be seated, 
said in a calm — though spite of me — trembling voice : 

“ Noble father, it is thine to command ; mine to obey ! Speak, I 
pray thee, and speak too, plainly — if need be, harshly. Bare 
thy most secret thoughts. What aileth thee ? What sends 
these dark shadows to rest on that calm, smooth brow ? ” 

“ Thanks, little baron,” was my father’s reply,” for thy 
promise of obedience. This is the weight which presses on my 
heart : Since thou hast taken up this rambling, roving life, 
robbed of thy counsel and co-operation, I have seen our ances- 
tral estate hastening to ruin. Last year our tenantry scarcely 
harvested enough to keep bod}* and soul together. This year 
promises to turn out worse yet. Desolation sits upon the broad 
acres once the prize of our family ! Crops fail, grass withers, 
trees turn j el low ! The poor cattle moan for sustenance as they 
wander about in the dried-up pastures. I look upon all this 
wreck and ruin, but am helpless as a babe to stay it ! Speak, 
my son ; wilt thou, hast thou the heart, canst thou be so cruel 
as to turn thy back upon these pitiful scenes without raising thy 
hand to avert the impending doom ? ” 

“ Baron!” I interposed mildly, but firmly, “ facts first! elo- 
quence thereafter ! Impart unto me, in plain, King’s speech, 
the cause of all this ruin ! What hath wrought it ? What hath 
desolated our fair fields ? What hath carried this rapine 
among our flocks and herds ? Speak !” 

“ I will, little baron, give attentive ear ! ” rejoined my father 
with stately bend of the body : 

“ As ancient Egypt was visited with scourge and plague, so 
have been our ancestral acres ! In pasture and grain fields, 
myriads of moles feed upon the tender rootlets ; in grass lands, 
swarms of meadow-mice fatten od the herbage ; in orchards and 
nurseries, countless numbers of ground-squirrels spread 
destruction far and near ! Such are the terrible scourges now 
laying waste our once fair estates, your pride and mine, and the 
envy of all beholders ! 



“Little baron, I feel, 1 know that thou eanst help me; that 
somewhere in the vast storehouse of thy mind, rest plans and 
devices potent enough to restore these broad lands to all their 
former beauty and productiveness.” 

“ Baron !” was my reply, “ when was there a time that thou 
foundst me wanting in my duty to thee or lacking in power to 
assist thee ? ” 

“ Never ! ” ejaculated the elder baron with great emphasis. 

“ Then, betake thee to my gentle mother — the baroness — thy 
consort, comfort her. Bid her take heart ! Say I will not go 
abroad until these pests are driven from our ancestral domain ! ” 

The elder baron rose. I accompanied him to the door, then, 
we saluted each other with dignity and he withdrew to bear the 
glad message of my promised assistance to my sorrowing 

Alone in my apartments, a terrible feeling of disappointment 
came over me. I felt that it would be useless to continue in 
my preparations to leave home in the face of these dire mis- 
fortunes now threatening my family. For, as I reasoned — and 
I think with great clearness — the name of our family would 
dwindle to a shadow, were we robbed of these broad acres of 
pasture and meadow-land, forest and orchard. 

To me, a landless nobleman had something very ludicrous 
about him; and I fully made up my mind that I would either save 
my ancestral estate from ruin, or lay aside forever my title 
of baron, as a gem which had lost its radiance, even as a pearl, 
which the stolid rustic ruins for the sake of a meal of victuals ! 

That night I partook of no f ood, so that I might lie down with 
unclouded mind. 

Bulger noticing this, concluded that his little master was 
ailing, and likewise refused to touch food, although I ordered 
his favorite dish — roasted cocks’ combs — to be prepared. 

Till midnight I lay awake in deepest thought over the arduous 
task which confronted me. At the stroke of twelve from the 
old clock on the stair, I determined to let my mind work out the 
problem itself, and turned over and went to sleep. 

The baron and baroness entered the breakfast-room with 



unclouded brows the next morning. I greeted them very cor- 
dially. The conversation was enlivened by one or two of the 
elder baron’s ancient anecdotes which he furbished up for the 
occasion with several new characters and an entirely new end- 
ing. I laughed heartily — as I was in duty bound to do. 

Breakfast over Bulger and I sallied forth to begin work. 1 
resolved to attack the moles first. 

To get rid of pest number one was not at all a difficult matter 
for me, when once I set about thinking it over. In fact, I may say 
right here, that this task, set me by the elder baron, would have 
been an impossible one had it not been for my intimate acquaint- 
ance with the natures, habits and peculiarities of animal life. 
Always a close student of natural history there was little about 
the four-footed tenants of the fields which had escaped my 

Accompanied by Bulger ; armed with a pair of short, wooden 
tongs ; and carrying a basket, I set out for the grain fields. 

Bulger was in high glee for he had already made up his mind 
that there was sport ahead for him. 

In less than an hour, with him to point out their hiding 
places and to unearth them, I had captured a hundred moles. 
Returning to the overseer’s lodge, with his help I cut off the 
nails of each mole’s fore feet close to the flesh and then gave 
orders to have the lot carried back to the grain fields and 
released. Turning my attention now to the meadow-mice, 1 
realized at once that to get rid of pest number two would be 
the most difficult task of all. 

The unthinking reader has doubtless already cried out in 
thought : “ Why not turn a troop of cats into the meadows, and 
let them make short work of the destructive little creatures ? ” 

Ah how easy it is to plan, how difficult to execute ! Know 
then, my clever friend, that the meadows were wet and that 
though often tried the cats absolutely refused to enter them. 

The merest tyro in natural history is aware of a cat’s aversion 
to wetting its fur ; and, above all, of stepping into water. Even 
moisture is disagreeable to a cat’s feet and she will willingly 
walk a mile rather than cross a plot of dew-moistened green 



sward; However, I determined to begin my operations at once. 

Knowing the wonderful changes which the pangs of hunger 
will work in an animal’s nature, forcing the meat-eaters to turn 
to the herbage of the field for sustenance — I hoped for favorable 

Selecting half a dozen vigorous young cats from the cottages 
of our tenantry, and providing myself wfith a lot of India rubber 
caps used for drawing down over the necks of bottles, in order 
to make them air-tight, I proceeded to encase the legs of each 
cat in these coverings, cutting a hole in each one, however, so 
as to allow the paws to pass through. I wished to accustom 
them to these leggings before covering the feet entirely. My 
next step was to subject the cats to twenty-four hours fast. 
After which, I caused some of their favorite food — broiled 
fish to be placed at the other end of a long room, covering the 
intervening space with long-napped rugs, which I had first 
dipped into water. 

In spite of their hunger, they absolutely refused to cross the 
dripping rugs. 

Advancing to the edge, they tested the condition of the 
obstacles which blocked their advance upon the savory food feel- 
ing here and there for a dry spot ; and then retreating with 
piteous mewing, as they shook the wet from their feet. 

Drawing the rubber caps completely over the feet of one of 
the cats, I now placed her on the wet rug, encouraging her to 
remain there by feeding her a few dainty bits of the fish. 
Finding that her feet did not get wet, she consented to walk 
here and there over the wet surface, in order to secure 
toothsome bits of food. I made the same experiment with the 
other cats, and everything went as well as I could wish. 

The next day I continued my instruction, and to my great joy, 
succeeded in schooling the whole lot, not only to make no 
objection to having their feet encased in the rubber boots, but 
even to wade through an inch or more of water, in order to 
secure a particularly dainty bit of food. 

I was now ready to make a practical test of my trained 



The day preceding the trial they were again subjected to a 
prolonged fast. 

I must frankly confess that my heart beat rather nervously 
as I, with the overseer and two other assistants set out for the 
low lands, carrying the trained inousers — already shod in their 
rubber boots — in three baskets. 

We advanced cautiously upon the meadow-land, but so far 
as the mice were concerned, our caution was useless, for they 
ran about under our very feet. 

As I stood gazing over the long stretch of devastated 
meadow -land, once so famous for its thick, velvety grass, the 
tears gathered in my eyes and my voice choked. Now or never, 
thought I, must the attempt be made to save these fair fields 
from utter ruin. At a wave of my hand, my assistants stooped 
and released the somewhat startled cats. They were not long, 
however, in collecting their wits and getting ready for business. 

Sharp hunger is an excellent sauce ! As the six monsters 
leaped among those troops of tiny creatures — till that moment 
nibbling, playing or teasing one another, without a thought of 
harm or danger — the wildest consternation seized upon them. 

Not only near by us, but as far as the eye could reach, panic 
and disorder spread among these, till then peaceful little beings. 
Those which sought safety in their holes were hurled back by 
others rushing frantically out into the open air. 

The cats kept at their work like avenging furies. They 
killed for the mere pleasure of killing, passing like a death- 
dealing blast here and there over the meadows. 

After the work of destruction had been kept up for half an 
hour, I directed that the trained six should be carried back to 
their quarters, for I was too good a general to let my troops 
get their fill of sack and plunder. 

The next day another attack was made upon the enemy. The 
trained six, if anything, spread death right and left with 
greater fury than at first. The wet lands no longer had any 
terrors for them. They splashed through the puddles like 
mischievous boys through roadside brooks and ponds. 

I now bethought me of turning my attention to the ground 



squirrels. My first step was to send to town for several 
bushels of the smallest marbles that could be purchased. Then, 
having, with the assistance of my ever-faithful and loving friend 
and helper — my dear, dumb brother Bulger — located the where- 
abouts of several hundred burrows of the ground-squirrels, I 
gave orders to have a half-dozen or more of the marbles rolled 
down into each one of those holes. 

These labors completed, I withdrew to my apartments and 
set about amusing myself in several ways, while awaiting a 
report from the overseer. 

Many of the tenants who had watched my operations against 
the moles, meadow-mice and ground-squirrels, even ventured 
openly to denounce them as “ wild whims ” “ a dreamer’s ideas ” 
“ silly workings of a diseased mind. ” 

Poor creatures ! They had lost their all. They had seen 
the labor of long weary months ruined by these pests. They 
were embittered and skeptical. I had not the heart to notice 
their rather impertinent utterances. While awaiting the devel- 
opments, I plunged into the delights of some tales of a 
bold traveler written in the ancient Assyrian tongue in the 
wedge-shaped letter. 

Three days went by and no news from the superintendent! 

Two more, made five full days ! 

On the sixth came nothing. 

At last, with the dawn of the seventh I was awakened by 
loud and long continued cheering beneath my windows. Spring- 
ing from my bed and drawing aside the curtains, I was aston- 
ished to see long lines of our tenantry, men, women and children 
bearing banners, wreaths, garlands, etc. 

One company of children carried long, thin rods from the end 
of which dangled dead moles, meadow-mice and ground-squirrels. 

The moment I presented myself at the window, there was an 
outburst of cheering, so sturdy that the windows rattled before 
it. A lap at my door called me in another direction. It was the 
elder baron ! 

“ Haste ! little baron ! ” he cried eagerly “ descend to the castle 
platform, the people are beside themselves with joy ! Canst 



thou catch their cries ? Not a mole, nor a mouse, nor a squirrel 
is alive on the broad acres of thy estate. I say “ thy ” because 
it is justly thine ! Thou hast saved it from utter ruin. Hence- 
forth for the few years which kind Providence may will that I 
should tarry with thee, let it be as thy guest. ” 

“ Nay, nay, baron !” I replied laughingly, “ that may not be ! 
Till thou sleepest with the noble dead of our long and honored 
line, thou art master here ! ” 

I pressed his hand reverently to my lips and sent him to talk 
to the people until I should be ready to take my place at his side. 

I can well fancy how impatient the reader is to hear something 
more about the manner in which I rid my ancestral estate of 
these noisome pests. With regard to the meadow-mice that 
needs no explanation, but, the disappearance of the moles and 
ground — squirrels seems somewhat mysterious. 

Well and good. I’ll make it clear! Gentle reader, if you had 
been as close a student of the natures and habits of these ani- 
mals as I, you could have done the same thing yourself. You 
must know, then, that the mole’s body bears about the same 
relation to his forefeet, as a boiler does to a steam engine, which 
is admirably adjusted in all its parts, working smoothly and 
noiselessly, like a thing of life — polished and beautiful in all 
its bearings and put together so skillfully that no human 
thought could better it. That is to say, the only wonderful 
thing about a mole is his hand. 

That is a delight to a student of natural history. 

I have sat for hours and studied the marvelous shape of this 
hand. And strange though it may seem to you, no one knows 
better than the mole himself, that therein lies his hold on life. 

You’ll bear in mind, that 1 caused the nails to be clipped off 
the forefeet of the hundred moles, close to the flesh, and then 
turned them loose. In other words, without absolutely destroy- 
ing their marvellous hands, I completely destroyed their use- 

Now another thing you must be taught, that in the busy com- 
munities of these little animals, there are no sluggards. Every 
one must work. Only one thing stops him from using his hands. 



That is death. When a mole sees his fellow stop work, he 
knows what has happened 

Upon the return of the hundred captives to their burrows, 
there was joy mingled with terror ! 

Whose turn might come next ? 

But, when the moment arrived to fall into line and set to 
work, there was consternation ! 

What! alive, and not able to dig? 

Immediately, the wildest panic seizes upon the community. 
They abandon their homes ! With frantic haste, they pierce 
new burrows in every direction, leaving their ill-fated compan- 
ions behind them to die a lingering death — literally buried alive. 
Weeks, months will elapse ere they recover from this wild fear. 
Then they will be miles away. 

And the ground-squirrels, you ask. The ground-squirrel is 
as conceited, inquisitive, persistent and hard-headed as he is 
hard-toothed. If he knew that the world was round he would 
claim that it was simply a huge nut and wish that he were big 
enough to get at its kernel. 

When the marbles first came rolling down his burrow, he 
was pleased. They were so smooth, so round ! He rolled them 
hither and thither, as content as a child with a new toy. Then 
he stored them away for another day's amusement. Pretty 
soon he began to tire of them. They were dreadfully in his 
w r ay. They annoyed him greatly. And yet, he couldn't bear 
to think of parting with them. Finally the question arose in 
his mind : What are they, anyway ? Surely they must have 
a kernel ! And so he set to work gnawing upon them. They 
were terribly hard, but he was determined to get at the pit. 
Day after day, he kept at the thankless task, gnawing, gnaw- 
ing, until, one fine morning, he awoke to make the awful discov- 
ery that his teeth were gone ! 

Now, a ground-squirrel may be said to consist of four teeth, 
and nothing else. These gone there is no way to keep the 
other part alive. 

True, he may, after infinite labor struggle through a nutshell, 
but it is too slow work to keep up his strength. Every nut 
becomes a harder task. 



And so it was with the vast colony in our orchards. The first 
few days quite a number made their appearance as usual. 
Then, fewer and fewer came out of their holes, and they looked 
thin and feeble and showed no inclination to gambol and chatter. 
At the end of the week, the work was done. They had wrought 
their own destruction. The entire colony had perished from 

Thus it was, I restored the fair lands of our family to their 
old-time productiveness and removed all the obstacles which 
stood between me and my immediate departure from home. 

In a few days all was ready. 

The elder baron and the gracious baroness, my mother, 
parted from me with a gentle rain of tears, and a refreshing 
shower of blessings. Accompanied by my dumb brother — the 
ever faithful Bulger — and one trusty servant, I set out by extra 
post for Vienna. 

Thence at break-neck speed, I journeyed to Buda-Pesth and 
reached the Black Sea via Bucharest. 

Traversing that body of water in a swift vessel, commanded 
by an old sailing-master of mine, I skirted the foot hills of the 
Caucasus Mountains, and made my way to Teheran. 

Here I tarried several days, long enough to purchase a few 
camels and horses and join a caravan, soon to leave that city 
on a trading expedition. 

The proprietor of the trading company renewed his welcome 
in heartier terms when he was informed that I had brought 
a goodly collection of European trinkets with me. 

To clinch his good will — so to speak — I gave him a pair of 
fine German pistols. 

We were now sworn friends. 

I remained with the expedition until it reached Cabul. The 
proprietor was astounded to learn that I did not contemplate 
returning westward with him. After a whole day spent in 
eloquent pleadings, he gave in, fell upon my neck, wept, and 
wished me good speed. 

I was glad to be rid of him, for I was in no humor to form 
friendships with men whose souls never rose above a sharp 



bargain. Attended only by my faithful Bulger and a single 
guide, I set out from Cabul ; crossed northern Hindoostan, and 
entered Thibet to the north of the Himalayas. 

This was the land of which I had long dreamed — a land 
absolutely unknown to the outside world. 

I never had any inclination to pass over beaten tracks. By 
nature and education, a lover of the strange and marvellous, 
my soul expanded beneath the skies of this far-away and 
curious land, like a flower beneath the sunlight of a warm May 

Scarcely had I penetrated more than a dozen leagues into 
this wild untrodden territory- than I made the astonishing dis- 
covery that the sun’s light was obscured the entire day ; while 
the sky, by night, was flooded with a soft, mysterious light, 
quite bright enough to enable me to read the finest print with 
perfect ease. In other words, the natural order of things was 
exactly reversed. So, I — always quick to accommodate myself 
to existing circumstances — made use of the dark days for rest 
and sleep, and pursued my journey by night. 

One morning, however, the mystery was explained. The 
impenetrable clouds, which had been veiling the heavens like 
a pall, suddenly sank earthward ; and, to my almost unspeakable 
astonishment, I discovered that this blanket of inky blackness 
was made up of living creatures — gigantic fire-flies, quite as 
large as our ordinary bat, and far blacker in both body and 

When night came, this living tissue was changed into a robe 
of sparkling, shimmering glow, mantling the heavens like a 
garment of burnished gold spangles, upon which a burst of 
soft light, as if from ten times ten thousand waxen tapers, fell 
in dazzling effulgence. It was something to see and die for. 
Bulger’s poor startled mind made him look up, half in dread, 
half in wonder at this mysterious fire, which enveloped every- 
thing in its flame, and yet consumed nothing. I had but one 
thought. It was to capture several of these huge fire-flies. 
Night after night I watched patiently for an opportunity. 

It came at last. 



I was preparing some coffee, and my back was turned. 
Suddenly, I was startled by a piteous outburst, half whine, half 
bark, from poor Bulger. A cluster of these living stars had 
fallen at his very feet. Quicker than thought, I sprang forward 
and threw my blanket over them. Then, with the greatest 
care, I transferred them to one of my wicker hampers. 

Bulger, upon seeing this basket on fire and yet feeling no 
heat, was most painfully nonplused. He walked round and 
round the improvised cage, keeping at a safe' distance, however, 
now sniffing the air, now looking up to me with a most implor- 
ing glance — as if to say : 

“ Dear little master, do explain this thing to me ! Why 
doesn’t it burn up ?” 

To my great disappointment, the three captives died after a 
few days’ imprisonment, not, however, until they had laid a 
number of eggs — about the size of robins’ eggs — which I 
packed away most carefully in my boxes of specimens. 

I may say, right here, that, upon my return home, I subjected 
these eggs to a gentle warmth and was charmed to see emerge 
from each one of them a larva about the size of a pipe-stem ; 
but, to my delight — and to Bulger’s absolute terror — this pipe- 
stem affair had, inside twenty-four hours, become as large round 
as a Frankfort sausage. 

In due time, they passed into the chrysalis state. But this 
apparent death seemed to become a real one. 

Weeks went by and there were no signs of a metamorphosis. 

I was cruelly disappointed. 

More important matters, however, arose to occupy my 
thoughts. The sleeping fire-flies of the Orient were quite for- 
gotten, when, one evening, the women servants of the manor 
house, with blanched faces and piercing shrieks came literally 
tumbling headlong down the main stairway. 

Fortunately I was sitting on the first terrace of the park. 
With a bound I gained the hall way, and snatching down a brace 
of fire-arms from the wall, throw myself in front of the wildly 
shrieking troop of women, calling out in stentorian tones, for 



“ Has murder been committed ? ” I cried, “ Is there revolt 
among the tenantry ? Has blood been shed ? ” 

No ! no ! little baron !” they exclaimed, with wild eyes 
and clasped hands, “ but the castle is on fire ! Your rooms are 
in flames ! Your treasures will be consumed ! Quick ! little 
baron ; save them ! save us ! save the gracious lady and vener- 
able master ! ” 

Quicker than it takes to tell it, I laid hold of the rope of the 
alarm bell and set it pealing. 

The retainers answered with a will. A score of them burst 
into the hall- way ready for the word of command. 

“ Seize the fire-buckets, my lads ! ” I called out calml}', but 
in a tone of sufficient dignity to inspire perfect confidence, 

“ Man ladders to the windows of my apartments.” 

By this time another gang of the tenantry came rushing in 
upon the scene. 1 met them with an order to unhang the por- 
traits in the baronial dining-hall, and store them in a place of 
safety. Then, having spoken a few words of comfort to the 
gracious baroness, my mother, I seized a fire-bucket and led the 
line up the stairway. Laying my shoulder against the door of my 
apartments, I burst it open ; and, with head lowered before 
the blaze of light dashed in, followed by the bucket-bearers. 

“ Halt ! ” I cried. 

It was too late ! some of my finest hangings and rugs w r ere 
spoiled by half a dozen buckets of water emptied upon them. 

The mystery was solved ! The blaze of light that fairly 
flooded my apartments proceeded from the huge fire-flies wffiicli 
had hatched out without being noticed by me. But I didn’t 
begrudge my ruined hangings. 

There was my recompense clinging to the walls. 

I need hardly say, that the giant fire-flies were the wonder of 
their day, and brief as it was it sufficed to cover my name with 
a glory as resplendent, as their mysterious fire. 

I caused a huge lamp of exquisite oriental pattern to be 
constructed, and having placed the light-bearers beneath its 
dome of polished glass, passed several nights in the most per- 
fect happiness, seated in its soft, Avhite light, poring over musty 



the little baron reading by the light of the gigantic fire flies. 



volumes of travel, written in tongues long-forgotten, save by a 
few of the most learned scholars. But, my delight was short- 
lived. The gigantic fire-flies absolutely refused to eat anything, 
although I tempted them with a hundred different kinds of food. 
Little by little, their mysterious flame lost its bright effulgence 
— burning lower and lower until it went out in death. 


To resume the thread of my story : 

I was growing impatient to reach the table-lands of the Him- 
alayas, and taxed the powers of endurance of my guide to their 

In our bivouacs at times he would encircle my slender ankle- 
joints with his thumb and index finger and exclaim : “ All the 
gods helped make thee, little baron ! ” meaning that there dwelt 
great will-power and strength in my small body. 

The skies now cleared up. The living pall rolled backward, 
toward the horizon, and naught remained to tell of the mighty 
flood of light which so lately overran the heavens save a faint 
shimmering streak of fire in far distant Western sky. 

Soon it went out altogether. Thus far, our journey had 
been through an open country, with here and there a clump of 
forest trees which, at last grew so frequent that I felt sure we 
must be approaching the confines of some extensive piece of 

In this I was not mistaken. 

As we reached the summit of a range of hills, I could see in 
the distance a long, dark line of forests. My guide, who had 
pushed on ahead, in search of water, came galloping wildly 

I paid no particular attention to him, until I noticed that he 
had dismounted in great haste and was running towards me. 

“ Turn back ! turn back ! little master ! ” he exclaimed, throw- 
ing himself at my feet, and clasping my legs with his arms ! 

u Enter not in the Palin-ma-Talin ! ” (Home of Darkness.) A 
hundred pilgrims have laid their bones in the moss-grown 
depths of the Great Gloomy Forest! It is as pathless as the 



ocean ! It is as silent as death. It is as limitless as the heav- 
ens ! Nor man nor beast can breathe its cool, moist air, and 
live ! Turn back ! I beseech thee, little baron ; tempt not the 
Palin-ma-Talin ! ” 

u Palin-ma-Talin ! Palin-ma-Talin!” I repeated, as if awak- 
ening from a dream, “why, it must be — ay, there can be no 
doubt of it — the Great Aryan Forest, in which, countless cen- 
turies ago, the human race having abandoned their holes in the 
clay banks, first learned to hunt the wild beast, feed on his flesh 
and clothe themselves in his skins.” 

In my joy at this discovery I threw a handful of gold pieces 
into the lap of my astonished guide. 

Bulger, always ready to share my happiness, came bounding 
to (my side, barking loud and shrill. To my infinite surprise, 
the answering bark of a dog came floating on the morning breeze. 

“ Hark ! ” I exclaimed, in a whisper. This time it was unmis- 

a, Tis one of Bene-aga’s dogs ! ” was my guide’s reply u Come, 
little master, let me lead thed to his cave. It is beneath the 
very shadow of the Great Gloomy Forest. He can tell thee 
of its dangers, for he hath crossed it ! ” 

“ And come safely back ? ” I asked. 

u While life lasts he will sit in the gloom of Palin-ma-Talin ! ” 
murmured the man. 

“ AVhat meanest thou ? ” I cried. 

“I mean, that the noon-day sun cannot chase the shadows 
from his eyes.” 

“ He is biind ? ” 

“ Ay, little master, blind ! ” was the guide’s reply, “ and yet 
save this blind hermit, there lives no human creature who can 
lead thee safely through the Great Gloomy Forest ! ” 

“ Have done w ith thy jesting ! ” T cried. 

“ Nay, little master ! ” was the man’s answer. “ I speak in 
all truth and reverence, for Bene-aga is a holy man, and in him 
dwells such a radiant spirit, that his path is illumined and his 
footsteps are sure when other men would walk to their deduc- 
tion ! * 



“ O, lead me to him ! ” I exclaimed with ill-concealed joy. “ A 
thousand pieces of gold are thine, if the blind hermit consents 
to be my guide.” 

“ A thousand pieces of gold ! ” repeated the guide with a 
gleam in his dark eyes. “Ah, little baron, no one can earn 
that princely reward, excepting thee thyslf ! Who am I, poor, 
miserable, ignorant slave that I am, that I should attempt to 
move this saintly and learned man in thy behalf ? He would 
heed the cry of one of his dogs far more quickly than he would 
my chatter ! ” 

“ Is he so unlike his kind,” I asked, as we rode slowly along, 
“ as not to love gold ?” 

“ Ay, little baron ! if every dried leaf in his forest path were 
a coin of burnished gold, he would not stoop to pick one up !” 

“ Are his ears closed to flattery ?” 

“ As closed as his eyes are to the sun’s rays.” 

“ Loves he not some savory dish ?” 

“ Fruits and berries content him !” 

“ Surely a draught of rare old wine, mellow with age, frag- 
rant as crushed roses, purple within the beaker, would warm 
his heart to quicker beating, and incline him to serve me !” 

“ Nay, nay, little baron ! a gourd full of water from the 
sparkling rill near his home in the rocks, is sweeter to him 
than any nectar ever distilled by the hands of man !” 

“ They Say he is learned ! Then shall my gift be a score of 
rare old books, priceless parchments filled with thoughts so 
noble, so deep, so subtle, that, to read therein, means to live a 
thousand years in one ! ” 

“ Ah, little master,” replied my guide, with a mournful smile, 
“ thou art still astray. This dweller ’mid the rocks, this lover 
of solitude, the measure of whose life, they say, is full three 
hundred years, knows no other books than the pages of his own 
soul ! On these he has turned his thoughts so long and so 
diligently, that the foolish outpourings of so-called authors seem 
like the merest prattle of childhood.” 

“ But look, little master, we are drawing near the home of 
the blind hermit.” 



I turned my eyes in the direction indicated. 

A rocky ledge, wild, craggy, broken, seamed and twisted, 
crowned with a growth of pine trees having knotted, gnarled 
and fantastically-shaped trunks and boughs, shut in our view. 
As we drew near the entrance to Bene-aga’s cave, a troop of 
dogs, of various ages and species, came bounding forward with 
loud barkings. 

Bulger advanced to meet them boldly, after first glancing at 
my face to see whether I objected or not. 

It was a long while since he had met any of the members 
of his race, and then again, he doubtless wished to get a good 
look at these residents of such a distant land. 

The feeling seemed to be mutual, for in an instant the barking 
ceased, and the hermit’s dogs gathered about Bulger in silent 

After a series of salutations, which plainly ended in the best 
of fellowships, the hermit’s dogs endeavored to lure Bulger 
away for a run in the forest and fields, but in this they were, 
I need scarcely say, entirely unsuccessful. Bulger gave them 
to understand in very decided terms that he would talk with 
them, and even romp with them, but that it must all be done 
under the eyes of his master. 

We now halted and dismounted. 

“ This is the place,” said my guide in a low tone. “ Through 
that deep fissure in the rocks thou wilt find a path that leads 
to Bene-aga’s cave. Enter it boldly, little master. At the 
entrance to the cave thou wilt find a dried gourd hanging on 
the rocky wall. Seize it ! When shaken, its seeds will give 
forth a loud, rattling sound. This done, move not, though the 
shadows of evening find thee still standing at the door of 
Bene-aga’s cave. Farewell, little master ; Heaven make good 
to thee tenfold thy kindness to me ! 1 will await thee three 
days. If by that time I do not hear thy voice calling me to 
serve thee again, I shall return to my kindred !” 

Advancing to the cleft in the rocky wall, I found the gourd 
hanging by a leathern thong. 

The loud rattling of the seeds, as it broke the deep silence 


of this wild and lonely place — fit vestibule to a temple devoted 
to silence, solitude and meditation — startled me painfully. 

Restoring the gourd to its place, I leaned forward to catch the 
faintest sound of the hermit’s voice which might reach my 

It came not. 

The silence grew more oppressive than before. 

The broken, twisted rocks, overhanging and surrounding me, 
took on fantastic forms. 

In every dark cavity I saw some misshapen creature stirring 

A dreadful feeling of loneliness crept over me. 

No sound came, save the loud throbbing of my own heart. 

A half hour went by ! 

Bene-aga spake not a word. 

“ Perhaps he sleeps !” I whispered to myself. 

My words awakened the echoes of the rocky recesses, and 
the word “ sleeps ” came back to my ears in a hundred different 
tones, now loud and hissing, now soft and sibilant. 

At last a full hour had now gone by since I had rattled the 
seeds of the dried gourd, and yet the blind hermit spake no word. 

Again the death-like stillness sank upon the place, and the 
gathering shadows grew deeper and deeper. 

Could the guide have played me false ? I asked myself. 

Nay, that cannot be ! 

And yet why comes there no sound from Bene-aga’s cave ? 

Shall I summon him once more ? May he not have gone 
forth to gather food ? 

Am I doomed to be turned back when I have reached the 
very threshold of my long-wished-for desire ? 

These and a hundred other questions flitted through my mind 
as I stood in the dark and gloomy corridor that led to Bene-aga’s 

By the shadows on the rocky wall I could see that I had now 
been standing at least two hours awaiting summons to draw 

But hush ! 



He speaks at last ! 

My heart bounded joyfully, and yet as if with a leaden weight 
upon it. 

“ Who is it that disturbs my meditation ?” were the hermit’s 

“ A stranger ! A brother ! One who needs thy guidance !” I 
replied in a firm, yet humble tone. 

“ No human creature is stranger to me ! Thou art too 
young to be my brother ! The light that isdeft me shines only 
for my own feet !” came slowly from the hermit’s cave in a 
full, deep, rich voice. 

“ True, great master,” I replied, “ but then, may I not be thy 
son, and follow thy footsteps ?” 

u Thou art very wise for thy years,” spake Bene-aga. 

“ Not so wise, great master,” was my reply, “ as I shall be 
when I have sat at thy feet.” 

“ Come somewhat closer ; thy child- voice sounds like an echo,” 
continued the blind hermit. “ And yet thou art not a child • 
Some great spirit plays in sportive mood behind thy face ! I 
see that thou art blue-eyed and flaxen-haired. Thine eyes are 
set wide asunder, and above them towers a dome of thought. 
Thy home is in the land of the Norseman. At least thy fathers 
dwelt there. On thy cheek glows the crimson which, in the 
peach and apple-land, stains the autumn foliage !” 

As 1 had not yet even stepped within Bane-aga’s cave, these 
words of the blind hermit caused a strange feeling, half of 
fear, half of dread fascination, to creep over me. 

My heart throbbed violently. 

His ear, far keener than birds’ or beasts’, caught the sound. 

“ Fear not, little one !” said he, in deep, rich tones, full and 
swelling like the voice of organ pipes, “ if thou canst content 
thyself with a handful of berries when thou art hungry, with 
a draught from the neighboring rill when thou art thirsty ; 
if thy young limbs are sturdy enough to wrest repose from a 
rocky couch, then art thou welcome ! If not, go thy way ! 
For twenty years I’ve been busy with a certain problem, and 
have no time to stop and spread a more bountiful repast !” 



“But season thy frugal fare with thy wisdom, great master,” 
I returned, “ and it will be sweeter to my palate than stall-fed 
ox and mellow wine.” 

“ Come somewhat nearer, little traveler, so that I may see 
thee better !” spake the blind hermit, kindly and gently. 

I did not Avait for further summons, but stepped boldly into 
Bene-aga’s cave. 

It was, in truth, little more than a lofty cleft in the rocks, 
with several deeper recesses, in which the shadows lay undis- 
turbed. Its roof of jagged, broken and blackened masses of 
stone, was arched and lofty. In and about it, flocks of small 
swallow-like birds nested, and at times broke out in musical 
twitterings. Barren, gloomy and utterly forlorn as the place 
was, without chair, mat, bed or blanket, every thought of its 
awful loneliness and abject surroundings vanished from my 
mind, as I fixed my eves upon its occupant. 

As I had stepped within the limit of Bene-aga’s cave, he had 
slowly risen from his bench of stone, and now stood erect 
before me. Of powerful build, tall and majestic, with long 
snow-white hair and snowy beard, he towered like a statue of 
Parian marble in the dim twilight, to which now, however, my 
eyes had become accustomed. 

I gazed upon him, half in fear, half in delight. 

I could feel my breath coming fast and faster, as I riveted 
my gaze upon his wonderful face, so full of love, patience, 
courage and contentment. 

Had he bent his eyes upon me, I would never have believed 
him blind : for they were unclouded, full and lustrous. And 
yet, on second look, I saw that their gleam was like the bright- 
ness of the polished gem, that lacks the softness of living, 
sensitive orbs. 

Bene.aga was clad in a rude garb of dried skins, from which 
the hair had been skilfully scraped. Tossed back from his 
broad and massive brow, his white locks hung in heavy ringlets 
on his broad shoulders, while his wonderful beard, as white 
and glistening as spun glass — around his body twice entwined 
— clung like a snow-wreath twisted about a sturdy oak by the 
circling gale. 





So, like a mighty son of earth he towered, rude, yet noble; 
untaught yet learned, human yet godlike that I stood trans- 
fixed. My tongue forgot its tricks of speech. I felt that I 
should turn to stone, if he did not speak to me. 

While standing thus speechless, robbed of power to move a 
limb, Bulger broke the spell ! 

At Bene-aga’s feet lay a sick dog, infirm thro’ age and not 
ailment; blind like his master, his head pillowed on some soft 
dry leaves — the only semblance of bed within the hermit’s cave. 

Bulger’s gaze fell upon this pitiful spectacle. With cautious 
step, outstretched neck, and wide-opened eyes, he approached 
his sick brother, sniffed him over, licked his face and ears, 
whined piteously and then fixed a pleading look upon me as if 
to ask : “ Dear little master, canst thou do nothing to help my 
poor, sick brother ? Canst thou not make him well again, so 
that I may coax him out into the warm sunshine to play with 
him ? ” 

Bene-aga spake : u I see that thou art not alone, little wanderer, 
thou bringest a companion with thee. He is welcome. His ten- 
derness and sympathy will carry joy and gladness to the heart 
of my suffering friend, whose head I’ve pillowed upon some soft 
grass ! I, too, love dogs ! Thou seest they are my sole com- 
panions. Their love is less exacting than human love. They 
require no pledge or promise. They understand my silence, read 
my thoughts and are content ! ” 

“ But, come ! little traveler, time presses. Speak ! What 
brings thee to Bene-aga’s cave ? It it be idle curiosity, depart ! 
But, if thou seekest counsel ; if thou comest with honest intent 
to ask my advice in some arduous matter, I am ready to serve 
thee ! ” 

“ I thank thee, great master ! ” I replied, humbly. “ Know 
then that I would traverse the Great Gloomy Forest and that 
report hath reached mine ear that thou alone, of all human 
beings, canst guide me through its never-lifting shadows, shield 
me from its poisonous vapors and let me not follow my own 
foot-prints in ever-widening circles, until reason itself feels the 
dreaded spell of that vast, trackless, pathless wilderness ! ” 



u ’Tis true ! ” gave answer Bene-aga in deep, sad tones. “ I 
ran perform the service thou askest ! But, O, my son ! thou 
must know that a most sacred vow holds me in its mysterious 
power, securely locked, that I should lead no fellow-creature 
through that pathless wood, save on certain conditions ! ” 

“ Name them, great master ! ” I cried. 

u That he who asks this service,” continued Bene-aga, u shall 
tarry thirty days and nights with me in my rocky home, to inure 
him to the burden of awful gloom and silence ; that he, in all 
that time, taste of no food save the berries, on which I feed; 
slake his thirst with no draught other than that which I bring 
him from the neighboring rill and sleep on the bare rock, even 
as I do ! Reflect ! the apprenticeship is severe. Deem it not 
dishonorable, nor weak, to shrink from so hard a task ! Pause, 
reflect, ere thou answerest. I'll resume my meditations for an 
hour and then question thee again !” 

u Be it so, great master ! ” I made answer ; and, Bene-aga’s 
sightless eyes seem to turn to the shrunken form of the dying 

Silence filled the caA r e, and feeble twilight struggled against 
the gathering gloom. My thoughts turned homewards ! I could 
hear the gentle voice of the baroness, my mother. The castle 
windows were lighted, and the tall lindens shook a rich perfume 
from their blossoming boughs. All seemed so sweet and peace- 
ful. My mother’s voice reached me — I caught its every word ; 
“ Set forth my son’s repast ! ” said she in soft, mild tones. “ See 
that his favorite dishes are kept warm. Choose none but the 
choicest wine for him ; and, take good care that his bed be soft 
and even, and his pillows smooth ! ” My breath came only with 
painful effort as these words rang in my ears. 

I started up with a bound. In spite of myself, I took a step 
toward the portal of Bene-aga’s cave, where the last rays of 
the setting sun tipped the angry, jagged, broken rocks with 

“Well, my son!” spake the blind hermit. “Art thou still 

“Ay, great master!” I cried, turning back and drawing near 
to him. 



“ Fear naught ! Though puny in bodj r , yet was I born with 
the strength of steel in my limbs, and the will power of a score 
of common men.” 

“Lead thou on! I will follow thee.” 

A faint smile spread over the noble countenance of the blind 
hermit, as he replied : 

“I have not told thee all, my son ! Till we pass from 
these walls of stone, and stand in the open air, thou must not 
speak a word aloud. Nay, nor in a whisper, either. I will 
set thy food and drink before thee, and that,” he continued, 
pointing to a projecting shelf of rock, “shall be thy bed ! On 
its bare surface, rest thy limbs when nature bids thee sleep. 
Art thou still resolute ?” 

“ Ay, great master !” I replied with loud and bouyant voice, 
“ I will do thy bidding !” 

u ’Tis well ! v said Bene-aga. “ I like thy brave and steadfast 
soul ! But hold me not hard of heart in condemning thee 
to this gloom and silence ! Temper the bitterness of thy fate 
by giving thyself over to deep and earnest meditation, during 
the few brief hours that it shall last. Forget the so-called 
world — a bubble that bursts when thou thinkest to grasp it; 
a shadow, which thou pursuest with eager pace, and yet canst 
never overtake ; a mirage, rising before the weary traveler’s 
gaze, with visions of delicious gardens, watered by limpid rills 
and cooled by sparkling fountains, only to melt away and leave 
him more weak and fainting than before. Look within thy- 
self ! Thou art the temple of an immortal soul ! Enter its 
portals ! Fix thine eyes on the mysterious writings there 
unrolled ! Grow not weary and discouraged if thou canst not 
decipher their meaning as easily as thou wouldst the books of 
man ! And O, my son, should the gloom and silence of Bene- 
aga’s cave weigh too heavily on thy young soul, raise thine 
eyes to some one of the many lines which I have carved upon 
these rocky walls, in my hours of recreation. They will 
guide thee back to sweet contentment ; give thee strength to 
persevere unto the end ! And now, my son, farewell ! Though 
with thee, near thee, even by thy side, yet remember, I am far 



from thee. Ay, farther than earthly staff can measure ! Be 
hopeful, be strong, and thou wilt conquer ! Again, farewell !” 

“ Farewell, great master, farewell !” I exclaimed ; and, as my 
words echoed through the vast, rocky chamber, the last ray 
of light fled before the thickening gloom, and all was inky black- 

I had noticed, ere the darkness came, that I was standing 
near the projecting shelf of rock which was .to serve me as a 
bed, when nature called me to rest. 

Turning now softly, I groped my way toward it and stretched 
myself at full length on its bare surface. For a few moments 
all went well. Such a conflict of thought was raging in the 
chambers of my mind, that I took no note of the chill which 
this couch of stone sent creeping through my limbs. I closed 
my eyes, thinking to coax sleep to them, and thus forget the 
ever-increasing pang ! 

In vain ! It seemed as if death itself had seized my feet 
between his icy palms ! 

Sharp pains leapt from one joint to another, and wherever 
my body came into contact with that couch of stone, it seemed 
as if a thousand needles pricked my flesh. Half -crazed by the 
ever-increasing agony, I tossed from side to side, like one in 
delirium. At times I sat up to escape from stupefying dizzi- 
ness which caught me in its swift, encircling whirl ! My 
heated pulse beat at the thin walls of my temple, until it 
seemed as if I should go mad ! A rushing, soughing, gurgling 
sound of many waters roared in my ears, while strange, fan- 
tastic forms, in lines of fire on inky background, flitted to and 
fro before my eyes, until I began to fear I should soon be 
doomed to sit in eternal gloom like Bene-aga himself. 

And now heat and cold held alternate sway within my tired 
and broken frame. Vainly I strove to wet my parched lips 
with my tongue ! The fever had dried it to a chip. For a few 
brief moments the torture ceased ! 

I breathed more freely ! 

My limbs, thought I, are getting used to their couch of stone ! 
I shall fall asleep and forget my sufferings ! 



But no ! With redoubled fury they came back to their work. 

I dared not cry out so soon to Bene-aga, for mercy, for release 
from the cruel conditions he had imposed upon me ! Rather 
death than yield so quickly ; shrink so like a coward who stands 
motionless and trembling on the battle field, as a spent ball 
strikes his breast. 

I slept at last ! 

But O, what a broken, fevered sleep it was ! A sleep with 
unclosed eyes, full of dark and dismal sights. I could stand no 
more. I yielded and longed for death. In thought, I kissed my 
parents’ hands and felt their soft caresses on my brow and face. 
And then, it seemed the gracious baroness, my mother, caught 
my hand in hers and j>ressed it fervently on her lips. The kiss 
was so warm, so tender, so life-like, that I started up like one 
awakening from a long delirium. It cannot be a dream, I 
murmured, I am awake ! 

Tossing my racked form over on its side, so that I could touch 
my right hand — the one on which I had felt the kiss, with my 
left the mystery was explained. 

T was Bulger ! 

He was beside my couch of stone. It was he who had licked 
my cold, numb hand and turned my thoughts homeward. I 
caressed his head and ears and sought to make him lie down 
lest the rustle might disturb the blind hermit. He refused to 
obey, altho’ I thrice let him know my wishes. It was his first act 
of disobedience and for an instant drove all thoughts of pain 
from my mind. To all my suffering now came this new grief. 

Aroused from my stupor at last, by his persistent refusal to 
obey I collected my thoughts sufficiently to realize that he was 
bent upon leaping on my couch. His forefeet were already 
resting upon its edge. I dared not resist lest he should break 
the solemn stillness of Bene-aga’s cave by giving vent to some 
sound of entreaty. No sooner had he sprung upon the rocky 
shelf than I felt him crouching on its edge, and reaching down 
as if in the act of seizing something in his teeth, something so 
heavy, too, that it called for violent exertion. Whatever it was, 
I was not slow in discovering that he was endeavoring to drag it 



upon my rocky conch. Half rising, I stretched out my hand to 
solve the mystery. 

0 beloved Bulger ! 

In an outburst of affection I pressed my lips repeatedly upon 
his body. He took no note of my caresses, but only tugged the 
harder at the thing he held within his teeth. It was my blanket ! 

Taught in his early years to fetch my slippers, my gloves, my 
cap to me, when he found them lying here or there, he had never 
forgotten to render me these petty services. " And thus, noticing 
that my blanket had, apparently, been forgotten, he seized it, 
hea vy as it was and dragged it to his little master’s bed. 

Regardless of Bene-aga’s ire ; unmindful of the fact that to 
accept Bulger’s gift was plainly an open breach of the com- 
pact between the blind hermit and me, I wrapped my bruised 
and aching body in the thick, warm covering and fell into a 
long refreshing sleep. 

Such Avas my first night in Bene-aga’s cave. The next day 
was bright and clear and the rocky chamber seemed less dismal 
to me. My eyes were becoming accustomed to the gloom. 

From morn till night, I shunned that bed of torture, passing 
my time studying out the hidden meaning of the words which 
Bene-aga has carved on the rocky walls; watching the birds 
as they flitted in Avith food for their nestlings or standing near 
the blind hermit Avith my gaze riveted upon his noble features, 
thick, clustering hair and far-flowing beard ! 

From this time forth all went well. I soon forgot the long 
hours of that terrible night of silence and despair. Indeed, I 
was astounded to find Iioav swiftly the time sped along when 
one gfces himself up to deep and all-absorbing meditation. 

Days and nights flitted by like alternate hours of light and 

1 Avas startled from a deep sleep by hearing the full round 
voice of Bene-aga saying : u Up! up! little traveler, up! my son, 
the morn is breaking. The appointed hour has come ! To-day 
Ave must enter Palin-ma-Talin or all thy apprenticeship shall 
have been in a ain ! ” 

I sprang up ; and, approaching Bene-aga, related in tones of 


unfeigned grief, how I had disregarded the sacred compact 
between us ; and, that, altho’ it cut me to the heart, to be obliged 
to turn back, Avhen I stood upon the very confines of the 
Great Gloomy Forest, yet I was not worthy to follow him, and 
was firmly resolved not to plead for mercy ! 

“All ! I told him all ! how my frame had been so racked by 
pain that I was upon the very point of crying out for release 
from the terrible compact, when my beloved Bulger came to my 
relief, and saved me from that degradation. He heard me in 
silence, his noble countenance giving no sign or hint of what 
was going on within that lofty soul. 

At last, a sad and almost imperceptible smile spread over his 
face and he spake as follows: “Take heart, my son. All is 
forgiven. Thou art but a child and I should have lightened 
the burden of this apprenticeship. Nor can I hold thee worthy 
of blame for yielding to such a touching proof of thy dog’s 
love for thee ! Hadst thou repulsed him he would have lain in 
wakeful sorrow by thy bedside all that night — dear, faithful 
soul! Would he belonged to me!” 

So saying, Bene-aga bent his towering form and caressed 
Bulger’s head and ears. 

Nor was Bulger slow in returning the hermit’s caresses. 
They had become the best of friends. Bulger felt the fascina- 
tion of Bene-aga’s mysterious power from the very first. 

W T hen the hour arrived for us to leave the rocky chamber of 
gloom and silence, and step out into the sunlight once more, 
my heart broke out into its old-time beat. Had I not been in 
the presence of the venerable Bene-aga, I should have leapt and 
danced for joy, as we emerged from that dreary abode, and J 
felt the warm air fan my cheek once more. But, one thing 
struck me now most forcibly. It was the wonderful change 
which I noted in the blind hermit himself, when he stood in 
the sunlight and the morning breezes tossed the curls of his 
white, silken hair, like April winds making merry with a 
flock of snow-flakes. First, his appearance was quite different 
from that to which I had become accustomed. A leathern 
cap crowned his massive head, and held his thick, rebellious 



hair somewhat in control. His wide-flowing beard had entirely 
disappeared beneath his rnde garb, save where it clothed his 
face and neck. I saw at once that he was clad for work — for 
toilsome progress through Palin-ma-Talin’s thick growth. In 
his right hand he carried a curious rod or wand, long, slender, 
polished and extremely flexible. I soon learned to wonder at his 
extraordinary skill in using this staff to guide his steps or dis- 
cover the nature of any object not within the reach of his 
hands. A rude pouch or leather bag was* swung across his 

The change in Bene-aga’s manner was still more noticeable. 
To me, this change was as pleasing as it was unexpected. 
In a brief half hour he became another man. His deep, rich 
voice, soft and round as the sound of an organ-pipe took on a 
mellower tone! A faint smile wreathed his noble features, as 
the sunlight fell upon them. His step became quick and elastic, 
his movements brisk and agile. So wonderfully keen were his 
remaining senses that only the closest observer could have 
guessed that he was blind. 

Turning in the direction of the spot where his dogs were at 
play, he startled me by breaking out into a joyous, — 

“ Yo ho ! my children ! Yo ho ! my brothers ! Here to me ! 
Here to me !” 

His dogs — Bulger among them — bounded forward with a loud 
chorus of barking. Bene-aga caught the stranger’s voice. 
“ It pains me deeply,” he cried, “ to rob him of his playfellows, 
for I see him gamboling and sporting with my children !” 

As the blind hermit stooped, his dogs, with loud cries of 
sorrow at parting, sprang up to lick his face and hands. 

u Go, my children ! Go, my brothers ! w said Bene-aga. ^Con- 
tent yourselves. I'll come again soon, very soon, with love 
warmed by absence !” 

All was now ready for the start. Beneath the rising sun 
I could see a long, dark line, far away, where earth and sky 
came together. It was Palin-ma-Talin. Home of Darkness! 
The Great Gloomy Forest ! 

Thither Bene-aga now directed his footsteps witli astonishing 



rapidity of gait, tapping the ground with his long, polished 
wand as he hurried along ! 

Awe-struck, I followed my blind guide ! 

In comparison with such miraculous powers of hearing, 
smelling and feeling, my eyes were worthless. Ever and anon 
he called out to me : 

“ Guard thee well, my son, a viper stirred in the grass to thy 
left ! Guard thee well, my son, to touch the leaves of the 
flowering shrub through which we are passing now — they are 

“ Guard thee well, my son, to taste the waters of the rivulet 
to which we are coming, until I have made trial of its purity.” 

“ Guard thee well, my son, to pluck one of the flowers which 
now delight thy eye, and charm thee with their odor. ’Tis 
next to death to breath their perfume close to thy nostrils.” 

“Guard thee well, my son, to crush upon thy skin one of the 
little insects which now fill the air, lest thou spread a subtle 
poison o’er thy flesh !” 

As we drew near to the outer edge of the Great Gloomy 
Forest, a strange joy lit up Bene-aga’s face. He beat the air 
with his polished wand in graceful curves and circles, as he 
poured forth, half singing, half reciting, a sort of chain, 
invocation, or mysterious greeting to Palin-ma-Talin, Home of 
Darkness ! 

As if charmed by the rich music of his own voice, his spirits 
ran higher and higher. At times he halted to catch the soft 
echoes as they came floating back on the wings of the morning- 

As nearly as I can remember Bene-aga’s chant was something- 
like this : 

“O, la, la, la, la, 1-a-a-a-a! Hail to thee, Palin-ma-Talin. 
Shadowy Land ! La, la ! Lu, la, lo, li ! Lu, la, lo, li! We are 
coming to thee, beloved Temple of Silence and Gloom ! Let us 
into thy dark corridors, Palin-ma-Talin Lo-il-la ! Lo-il-la ! Thou 
art victor ! Palin-ma-Talin, my beautiful ! From thy buckler 
of darkness fall the Sun’s arrows, splintered and broken ! O, 
la, la, la, la, la, 1-a-a-aa-a-a ! We are coming King of Gloom and 



Stillness! Palin-ma-Talin. O silent domain! Let ns in from 
the roar and the glare ! Let us in from the roofless world. We 
are near at hand, Palin-ma-Talin ! Swing open thy black portals ! 
Lift thy veil of Gloom ! Admit thy children into thy silent 
chambers. O, Palin-ma-Talin, Lo-il-lo ! Lo-il-lo ! Lo-il-lo ! 
Lo-il-l-a-a-a-a-a-a ! ” 

At last we stood by the very edge of Palin-ma-Talin. 

Bene-aga swept his polished wand against the foliage of one 
of the low-hanging, far-reaching branches-;" then, sprang for- 
ward and seizing a handful of the leaves, crushed them in his 
grasp and raised them to his nostrils. “ This is not the gateway, 
my son” he cried, “ we must turn farther northward !” 

After about half an hour, he again halted and reaching out 
for a handful of the leaves inhaled their odor. 

“ Not yet ! not yet ! ” he murmured “ Somewhat northward 
still! Be not troubled, my son. Thou see’st Palin-ma-Talin 
with thine outward eye ! Not so Bene-aga ! He must lay his 
hand upon the very walls of this Temple of Silence and Gloom 
ere he can see it ! ” 

Suddenly the blind hermit paused. His thin nostrils quivered, 
his massive breast heaved convulsively. “ We are almost 
there ! ” he spoke in measured tones. “ I catch the perfume of 
the foliage which clothes the two ebon columns of the gateway. ” 
I looked and saw before me two towering trees, whose wide- 
reaching branches swept the very ground. Side by side they 
stood, alike in size and grandeur. Bene-aga passed his hand 
caressingly over the first branch which brushed his cheek and 
pressed its leaves to his lips ; then, broke out into his wild chant 
once more. 

I stood looking at the blind hermit and listening to liis song 
of greeting, hardly knowing what to expect next when, suddenly, 
he threw himself upon his knees and crept under the far-reach- 
ing branches of one of these gigantic sentinels of the Great 
Gloomy Forest. 

Bulger and I followed him ! Thus it was we entered the 
domain of Palin-ma-Talin, Home of Darkness, i shall not try 
to describe to you the solemn stillness, the mysterious twilight 



of the Great Gloomy Forest, nor to paint for you the wonderful 
beauty of the deep green mosses which covered rocks and trees : 
trailed from the swaying branches, carpeted the floorway, or 
hung like heavy canopies, from tree to tree, above our heads, 
and increased the gloom caused by the thick, interlacing foliage, 
I had followed Bene-aga’s noiseless footsteps about half a 
mile into the stilly depths of Palin-ma-Talin when, I began to 
feel a strange chill creep over me ; beginning at my very linger 
tips and pursuing its insidious way toward my very vitals. So 
rapidly did it run its benumbing course that I was upon the 
point of calling out to the Bene-aga, when he halted ; and having 
broken a twig from a tree with foliage of dark green and 
polished leaves, bade me eat them, saying : 

u Palin-ma-Talin does no harm to those that know him ! ” 

I found the leaves pungent and agreeable to the taste. Their 
effect was magical. My limbs at once forgot their numbness 
and my step lost its heaviness. 

We had now been several hours in the Great Gloomy Forest; 
and, thus far, Bene-aga had advanced into its ever-increasing 
gloom — for night was falling, without a halt. 

Had Bene-aga, had as many eyes as Argus and each of lynx’s 
power, he could not have pursued his way thro’ Palin-ma-Talin’s 
gloomy corridors more easily and more securely. His polished 
wand flashed like a thing of life in his miraculously trained hand, 
touching everything, vibrating, swinging, advancing, retreating, 
with a rapidity, that my eyes could not follow. 

O, great master ! ” I called out to him, “let me not be presumpt- 
uous enough to speak to thee of things which should be left 
unstirred in the chambers of thy mind, but if it be permitted 
to me to know, tell me how thy rayless eyes can pierce this 
gloom and find a path thro’ this trackless forest, wrapt in the 
gloom and silence of ten thousand years ! ” 

“ It shall be as thou wishest, son replied the blind hermit 
“ the little there is to know thou shall hear ! But surely, thy 
young limbs must be weary. First let me make ready a bed 
for the night and spread some food and drink!” 

So saying, he swung his leathern bag off his shoulder, took 



from it a roll of dried skin and spread it on the ground ; then, 
wrenching four pine boughs from a tree near by, he thrust 
them in the earth one at each corner of a square, and striking 
a spark with his tinder-box, set fire to the pitch which trickled 
down the boughs. 

The flickering flumes cast a thousand weird shadows on the 
trailing mosses and black shrouded trees, and filled the air with 
a grateful warmth. 

Bene-aga now drew forth some dried fruit and berries. 

We ate in silence. 

Bulger sniffed at the food but nothing more. 

Our frugal repast concluded, the blind hermit took from his 
leathern pouch a sharp-pointed piece of flint with which he 
pierced the bark of a tree near our bivouac. Into the hole he 
thrust a slender reed. I was astonished to see a limpid liquid 
flow from the end of the reed. He filled a gourd with it and 
placing the drinking vessel in my hand said in a low, caressing 
voice : 

“ Drink, my son ! ’Twill refresh and strengthen thee ! ” 

I raised the gourd to my lips. The liquid was cool and sweet, 
and very pleasing to the taste. 

“ Drink as deep as thou wilt, my son,” cried Bene-aga, “ for 
Palin-ma-Talin could slake the thirst of an army” 

Again I placed the gourd to my lips. This time I drank long 
and deep. A gentle warmth now coursed thro’ my limbs. My 
eye-lids sank downward, oppressed with a most delicious long- 
ing for sleep. Pillowing my head on Benk-aga’s pouch, with 
my hand resting on my faithful Bulger’s head, I was soon 
wrapped in slumber. 

When I awoke, it was still night. The pine knots had burned 
nearly out. There sat the blind hermit beside me. I could see 
that he was keeping watch. His head turned as I stirred. 

“ Thou hast asked me, ” he began, to tell thee how I am able to 
find my way thro’ Palin-ma-Talin’s gloom. Here, in this track 
less home of shadow no outward eyes would avail me aught. 
Thou hast seen liow the floor of this vast Temple is everywhere 
alike. For it, nature has woven a carpet of thick, velvet moss 



which, in the flight of centuries, takes on no change of hue. 
’Tis ever the same ! Tear a pathway in it, in a few short days 
the rent will be made whole. Blaze the trees, the encircling 
mosses will, in a brief period hide the marks, and all thy labor 
will be in vain. Even supposing that thou couldst succeed in 
leaving a lasting ^trail behind thee, the deadly poison which 
lurks in this damp air would chill thy life blood ere thou couldst 
cross from outer wall to outer wall of this vast Temple, with its 
roof of interwoven moss and foliage, impenetrable to the noon- 
day sun. 

“Thou hast felt the first touch of that deadly chill, which 
curdles the warmest blood and sends a sleep of death upon 
the rash intruder! But to me, O, my son, Palin-ma-Talin is 
all light and glow ! I cannot see that gloom which strikes 
such terror to thy soul. And thou must know, my son, that 
Palin-ma-Talin has no shadows deep enough to hide the north 
star from my sight. I always know which way it was the sun 
went down, and which way it will be that he will rise ; for all 
the winds are known to me, and whence they blow. To thy 
cheek the air appears to sleep at times. To mine, never ! 
’Tis no more a task for me to catch the breath-like zephyr — 
unfelt by thee — than it is for thy faithful dog to take up the 
trail of his master’s footsteps and follow it through the 
crowded mart. Then again, thou must bear in mind that for 
a hundred years and more I’ve been a shadowless figure in this, 
home of shadows ; that the trees of Palin-ma-Talin have taken 
me to their hearts, and I them to mine ; that not only do I know 
how and where they grow, but it hath been revealed to me that 
these towering children of Palin-ma-Talin are not scattered 
helter-skelter, here and there, in orderless manner; but, that 
in a certain measure, they are ranged in lines from the rising 
toward the setting sun, each species forming a belt to itself, 
not like a grove by man’s hand planted, but in a wild, yet 
orderly confusion. To thee, this would be a useless guide, 
for thou hast seen how the trunks are swathed up in garbs of 
moss, and how the gloom gives all the foliage the same deep-dark 
hue of green. To thine eye, here, all these trees seem alike, the 



countless off spring of a single sire ! And yet it is not so ! 
For, when in my progress through these lofty corridors of 
gloom and silence I sway too far northward or southward, a 
single handful of leaves crushed in my grasp, gives up the 
secret of my whereabouts. But, even this sure guiding string 
has failed me at times, and I have gone astray in the home of 
my friend ! And yet in such moments, Palin-ma-Talin had no 
terrors for me ! When thus, an aimless wanderer in this 
trackless wood, I learned to draw aside this garb of green 
which decks Palin-ina-Talin’s breast, and lay my hand upon 
his very heart ! 

“ So has kind nature sharpened my sense of feeling that by 
the simple touch of the clay beneath our feet I can set my 
erring footsteps right and regain my lost path. Be thou, my 
son, in coming years, as steadfast in thy search for truth as I 
have been in my endeavors to change this gloom and silence 
into living light and speech, and thou wilt walk through life’s 
devious paths as easily as I thread my way through the track- 
less chambers of Palin-ma-Talin ! ” 

As Bene-aga ceased speaking, he lifted his song, making the 
trailing mosses sway with the vigor of his notes, now deep and 
solemn, now clear and far-reaching. 

The echoes came back softened down to flute notes. He 
listened breathlessly. 

“O wonderful man!” thought I, “even the sleeping echoes 
rouse themselves to guide thy footsteps aright.” 

“ Come, my son !” he cried in tones of gladness, “ our torches 
go to their end. Let us push on ! Though the sun be not yet 
high enough to chase the inky darkness out of Palin-ma-Talin’s 
depths, still, with this guiding string thou canst follow me !” 

Saying this, he placed the end of a leather thong in my 
hand, and we set out once more. 

After we had been an hour or so under way, the sun’s rays 
began so to temper the darkness of the Great Gloomy 
Forest, that my eyes were of some slight use to me ! 

Again Benk-aga broke out in a wild chant, and paused to 
catch the echo. 



“ Ah, ” murmured the blind hermit, half in soliloquy “ that was 
a greeting from the drowsy waters of Lool -pa-Tool ! 79 

Imagine the feeling of utter helplessness which came over 
me an hour or so later when, suddenly I found any self standing 
upon the banks of a broad streamlet, of hue blacker than the 
wings of night, apparently stagnant ; or, at least so sluggish as 
to seem well deserving of the title “ Drowsy Waters.” 

u This is Lool -pa-Tool ! w said Bene-aga, as he rested his chin 
on his hand and seemed to be gazing down on its inky surface. 

But how to cross it, for no bark was moored in sight — was now 
the bewildering thought which oppressed my mind ! Surely 
it cannot be forded, for to the eye it seemed as deep as it was 
silent and mysterious. Nor yet, would it be otherwise than 
inviting death itself to plunge into its stagnant waters and swim 
to the other side. 

While I stood thus wrapped in a cloud of anxious thought, 
Bene-aga himself seemed scarcely less perplexed. His usual 
calmness had deserted him. 

Drawing some pebbles from his leather pouch, he cast them 
one by one into the stream, bending forward to catch the sound 
they made with eager, listening air. Then turning to the right 
he followed the banks of Lool-pa-Tool, keeping his staff in the 
water and beating it gently with the tip as if striving to draw 
some secret from it. 

Again he paused and cast some pebbles into the dark and 
sluggish stream, and bent forward to get their answer. Again, 
he woke the echoes, and listened breathlessly to the reply that 
came, only to take up the march after a brief delay with what 
seemed to me a somewhat hesitating step. Evidently he was 
astray. His calm, noble face lost its look of serene confidence. 
Suddenly halting, he reached out for a handful of foliage, 
crushed the leaves in a quick and nervous grasp, inhaled their 
odor, and then resumed his march as before, with head dropped 
forward on his breast, and doubt and uncertainty visible in 
every movement. 

For an instant the thought flashed thro’ my mind that possi- 
bly Bene-aga had gone so far astray as to make the discovery of 


IT 5 

fche right course impossible. I could feel my lips draw apart, 
and my heairt creep slowly upward into my throat ! 

The thought of a lingering death from starvation in the chill, 
dark corridors of Palin-ma-Talin, set a knife in my heart. 

I almost tottered as I followed the blind hermit’s lead. My 
tongue was too dry to let me cry out to him in my sudden 

While these terrible thoughts were chasing each other thro’ 
my mind, Bene-aga halted $ and, resting his staff upon the 
branches of the nearest tree, broke out into one of his wild in- 
vocations : 

u O Palin-ma-Talin, Bene-aga calls unto thee ! Hear him ! He 
is astray ! Set his feet in the right path ! Let him not wander 
aimlessly about in thy gloom and silence. O, Palin-ma Talin ! 
He is thy child ; be kind and loving to him ! ” 

With these words Bene-aga threw himself upon his knees, tore 
away the thick covering of moss, until he had laid bare 
the forest floor ; from this, he took up a handful of the soil 
and pressed it between his fingers as if to test some sercret 

When he arose I knew that all was well. A radiant glow 
played about his features. He was himself again ! 

Catching up his wand, he broke away with mad strides, as 
if pursued by very demons. Only by running could I keep 
within sight of him. 

On ! on ! we sped along the banks of Lool-pa-Tool stream of 
the u Drowsy Watery,” mile by mile, Bene-aga carolling his wild 
chants of glad thanks, I jmnting as if bent upon escaping flesh - 
less death himself. Another hundred paces and I would have 
fallen headlong to the ground. 

My feet seemed shod with lead. 

Bulger set up a most piteous whining as he saw the look of 
despair settling on my face. 

Suddenly the blind hermit halted ; and, turning towards me, 
cried out in a joyous tone : 

“ This is the place my son. It is all over now ! Fear 
nothing ! Mount on my shoulders ! Thou wilt not add a 



feather’s weight to the burdens which I carry there ! Be not 
troubled about thy dog. Lool-pa-Tool has no terrors for him.” 
Such was my confidence in the blind hermit’s power to bear me 
safely across the mysterious stream that I did not wait for a 
second bidding to mount upon his shoulders alt ho’ as far as I 
could see, the waters of Lool-pa-Tool looked just as black and 
deep as ever. Advancing to the edge of the stream Bene-aga 
now began, with quick and nervous movement of his stall*, to 
search for hidden stepping stones. 

In vain I strained my eyes to catch some sign of resting place 
for his feet. 

And yet, they were there : f or with giant strides, steady, sure 
and rapid, Bene-aga jiassed over the u Drowsy Waters of Lool- 
pa-Tool and set me safely down on the other bank. I made effort 
to speak my thanks. But, wonderment had robbed my tongue 
of power of utterance. I could only gaze in silence upon that 
noble face — now clad in all its former serenity — then turn and 
follow its owner’s footsteps. 

After a few miles further advance Bene-aga halted, and, bend- 
ing his gaze upon me, as if his eyes were as full of light as his 
look Avas of radiance, spoke as follows : 

“ My son, my task is done ! Look, dost thou not see that 
gleam of light yonder? . ’Tis the outer wall of Palin-ma-Talin 
Pass it and thou wilt enter the world of noise and glare once 
more ! Thou hast no further need of me. Go straight on ; 
and, in a brief half hour, the sun’s rays will greet thee again ! 
Once outside of this pathless wood, thou wilt find thyself upon 
a lofty parapet — a sheer height of two hundred feet above the 
plains below. Look about thee and thou wilt see a stairway of 
solid rock, leading downward to the plain — not such as built by 
hands of man, with steps of e\ T en height, hew n regular and 
smooth, but a rude, fantastic flight of stairs left standing there 
by nature w r hen she cleared away the mass each side. Upon 
these narrow steps, smoothed by the beating storms of ten 
thousand years, the waters daily pour a treacherous slime, so 
that those w T ho have rashly tried to pass to the fair land below r , 
now lie among the jagged rocks. No foot is sure enough to 



tread on tlie slippery steps of Boga-Drappa. To fall means 
certain death. I cannot counsel thee my son. Be wary ! Be 
wise ! Farewell.” 

As this last word fell from Bene-aga’s lips he flashed out of 
my sight like a spirit form. 

The Palin-ma-Talin covered him with her darkness. 

He was gone. 

The tears gathered in my eyes. 

Fain would I have pressed its hand to my lips. 

I knew it was useless for me to try and call him hack or to 
follow him. So, with a heavy heart I turned and pressed for- 
ward in the direction he had indicated. 

I was soon at the outer edge of Palin-ma-Talin and to tell the 
truth I felt my heavy heart grow light again. Bulger too, 
showed his delight at being once more in the warm sunshine. 
Breaking out into the wildest barking he raced hither and 
thither with the joyous air of a boy set free from long and irk- 
some task. 

As Bene-aga had described to me, I now found myself stand- 
ing upon a lofty parapet, overlooking a delightful valley, thro’ 
which I longed to wander, after my long stay in Bene-aga’s cave 
and the gloomy trail through Palin-ma-Talin’s depths. 

Walking along the edge of the cliff I was not long in coming 
upon the Stair of the Evil Spirit or Boga-Drappa as it was 

It was jagged, irregular and tilted here and there ; and yet, 
quite even and stair-like when one considered that it was of 
nature’s building. As the blind hermit had warned me the treach- 
erous slime covered Boga-Drappa’s entire length, forever re- 
newed by the impure waters which trickled down its steps. 

To attempt to descend would have been worse than madness. 

No human foot was sure enough to tread those slippery stones 
and reach the bottom. 

Although I was impelled by the strongest desire to hasten 
forward I saw that a single rash act might end my life. 

Ordinary obstacles have no terror for me. But when nature 
sets a threatening barrier in my way I halt, but do not surrender. 



And, therefore, I sat calmly down to ponder over the problem 
that faced me. 

For three days I tarried on this parapet and each day I visited 
Boga-Drappa and gazed long and fixedly upon its far-reaching 
flight of rocky steps. 

On the third da}' I had solved the problem. 

Hastily gathering up every fragment of lime-stone lying near, 
I piled it in a cone-shaped heap and around it and over it I laid 
a mass of dry leaves and billets and over all such logs as I could 
lift. Then, striking fire with my flint and tinder I set the pile 
in flames. 

In the morning I was rejoiced to find a heap of the purest 
quick lime beneath the ashes. 

By means of an empty skull of some animal of the deer family, 
which I found tying near, I at once began to feed the waters 
trickling over Boga-Drappa’s steps with the lime. 

All that day and up to the noon hour of the next, I kept the 
water which flowed down the stairway, milk white with the 
, lime. 

Now, however, came the greatest difficulty. From the size 
of the stream I realized that it would be impossible for me to 
stay its course by means of any dam that I could build, for a 
longer time than one brief half hour. But, I dared not wait too 
long, for the coating of lime, which, by this time I knew must 
have been deposited on the rocky steps, to harden in the sun. 

The dam might break and undo all my work. 

At high noon, when the sun was beating down the hottest, I 
put the last touch to my dam. I was startled to see with what 
rapidity the waters gathered in the basin I had built. With 
anxious eyes and throbbing heart, I stood at the head of Boga- 
Drappa’s stair of rock and gazed up and down. 

I could see no signs of drying on the black and glistening steps. 
One moment after another glided by. At last a faint trace of 
whiteness began to show itself here and there. I turned an anx- 
ious glance at the gathering w r aters. The frail dam seemed 
about to yield to the ever-incr easing pressure. 

In one or two places, I caught glimpses of tiny rivulets trick- 
ling through. 



Once more, with a terrible feeling of faintness I glanced down 
the long dark Right of steps. Half blinded by the noon day 
sun I nevertheless caught sight of a snow white crust on the 

Now was my time or never ! 

Calling out to Bulger to precede me I sprang boldly down the 
stair which, till that moment had been black with treacherous 
slime. The waters broke away and came rushing on my very 
heels. Down, down, I went in headlong haste, bounding like 
a deer from step to step ! 

My heart sank within me as I felt the torrent, now mad and 
raging spatter its spray on my neck. 

Another instant and I’m saved ! My feet strike firm. 

1 see the fair country come nearer and nearer. 

Another leap, and with my faithful Bulger I’ve cleared the 
dreaded stairway of Boga-Drappa ! Staggering forward, I 
reach the greensward of the valley and fall fainting, after my 
terrible race for life ! 

Bulger’s mingled wailing and caresses roused me after a few 
moments of clouded brain and then all was well. And yet a 
shudder stole over me as I raised my eyes to take a last look at 
the rocky stairway of Boga-Drappa, now clad once more in its 
black, glistening, treacherous slime. 

Refreshed by a hearty meal upon the luscious fruit which 
grew in wonderful profusion on every side, followed by a deep 
draught of cool, clear spring water, and calling joyfully to my 
faithful Bulger to follow me, I set out for the distant summit 
of the ridge which shut in this peaceful little corner of the 
earth’s surface, so well fitted for the home of human beings, 
and yet so utterly abandoned and tenantless, even by four 
footed creatures. While, I am a great admirer of nature in all 
her aspects from wildest grandeur to picture-like delicacy, yet 
no spot which is not inhabited by man or beast, can long hold 
me content. 

I must have life, not the dull spiritless life of tree, shrub or 
plant, ever-chained to one spot, but the restive, bounding, 
throbbing life of man or animal to study, contemplate and 



reflect upon. Therefore, it was that I determined to pass at 
once out of this beautiful little valley. 

I pushed on with eager step for I was desirous of gaining the 
high land before nightfall. In this I was successful, but the 
twilight had so deepened when I reached the crest of the ridge, 
that any survey of the country lying beyond was impossible. 

Shortly after I had lighted a bivouac fire, Bulger came in 
with a bird — of the quail kind — and I proceeded to broil it on 
the live embers. 

The faithful animal was delighted to be once more in a coun- 
try in which he could serve me and while our supper was cook- 
ing, took occasion to go through a number of his old tricks, in 
order to see his little master’s face brighten up. 

Side by side, we lay down for the night in that faraway land, 
and were soon fast asleep. 

The morning broke with rare splendor. I hastened to exam- 
ine the country beneath me. It was dotted here and there by 
groves and bits of woodland and seemed unusually green and 

What attracted my attention more than anything else was 
the fact that, as far as my eye could reach, the region was 
watered by a perfect network of little rivers, which glistened 
in the morning sun like bands of burnished silver. 

I had never seen the like. It occured to me at once, that 
should these streams prove too deep and rapid to ford, it would 
force me to change my course entirely, and pass either to the 
north or south, until I reached a clear country. It was pretty 
well toward sundown when I stood upon the confines of this 
strange land which I named Polypotamo or “Many Rivers.” 
The streams, which varied from ten to twenty feet in width, 
were deep, clear and swift. 

As you may readily imagine such a country was very pro- 
ductive. Fruit and flower -bearing shrubs and trees, all of 
a most beautiful green grew in the wildest abundance. The 
air, cooled and purified as it was by the numerous streams of 
limpid water, was like a magic inhalation, carrying a strange 
feeling of dreamy delight to every part of the body. 



Said I to myself : 

“ If this fair land be not inhabited then it is a monstrous pity, 
for here kind nature has spread her riches with a more than 
usually lavish hand. 

Bulger and I stretched ourselves upon the bank of the first 
stream that we reached and were preparing for a nap after 
our long days tramp, when suddenly the strangest noises reached 
our ears. He started up with a look of mingled alarm and curi- 
osity which, could I have seen my own face^ I would undoubt 
edly have found pictured there in equally strong lines. 

Louder and louder grew these curious sounds. 

I listened with pricked-up ears, as I strained my eyes in the 
direction whence they came, eager to catch the first glimpse of 
the beings who uttered them. 

I had not long to wait. About an eighth of a mile away, my 
eyes fell upon a sight, which, in spite of the possible dangers 
threatening my life, in case these creatures had proven to be 
vicious or savage, caused me to burst out into a fit of uncon- 
trollable laughter. 

There, in full view, was a troop of human creatures, 
dwarfish in stature — not being much over four feet in heigth 
— who seemed incapable of using their legs as we do ; but 
moved about from one place to another by hopping, as some 
birds do, or as rabbits would do if they moved about standing 
upright on their hind legs. 

In an instant they caught the sound of my voice ; and, with 
the swiftness of the wind, and with an ease that astounded 
me, leaped over the two intervening streams— each of which 
was at least fifteen feet in width — and came bounding toward 
us with the same gigantic leaps ! The w^hole thing was done 
so quickly, and the mode of locomotion was so novel and 
altogether wonderful, that I was surrounded before I knew' 
what happened to me. 

It is needless to say that I couldn’t understand their language, 
although I soon mastered it, consisting as it did of pure 
Aryan roots, no word being of more than three letters. 

The Man-Hoppers — such was my translation of their name, 



Lmi-Lobas — ranged themselves in a circle around Bulger and 
me, threw themselves on their faces, so to speak — for their 
arms were ridiculously out of all proportion to their bodies — 
and threatened with shrill outcries and menacing movements, 
to kick Bulger and me to death instantly unless we surrendered 

It was a novel sight. 


Bulger was inclined to advise resistance ; but, when I had 
given a hurried glance at their feet, which were very large and 
attached to astonishingly vigorous legs, I deemed it only pru- 
dent to run up the white flag ; in fact, I gave them to understand 
that we threw ourselves on their mercy. 

But first, a word about these strange people : 



They were, as I have said, small of stature, and let me add 
that, upon their narrow, sloping* shoulders were set delicate, 
doll-like heads, animated by large, lustrous, black eyes of 
extreme softness in expression. Their arms looked like the 
arms of a boy on the body of a man. But, although so small, for 
they reached only to their waists and ended in tiny, shapely ' 
hands, yet they showed themselves possessed of extraordinary 
strength and dexterity. Their legs, however, were the most 
wonderful part of them. 

In fact, I might almost say that the Umi-Lobas were all legs, 
so out of all proportion was the development of their limbs. 
The effect of this disproportion may be easily imagined. It 
so dwarfed their bodies that they appeared like cones set upon 
two legs. 

“ Miscreant !” cried the leader, as I learned three days later 
when I had mastered their language, “ if thou dost not instantly 
admit that his majesty, Ga-roo, King of the Umi-Lobas, is not 
the fastest, farthest and most graceful jumper in the world, 
thou shalt be kicked to death without the least ceremony ! ” 

I made signs that I was quite willing to admit this, although I 
didn’t understand exactly what it was ! 

Seeing that I was not disposed to attempt any harm, the 
Man-Hoppers sprang to their feet and seated themselves in 
a perfect ring around Bulger and me, like so many rabbits 
when standing on their hind feet to reach something, intent 
upon getting a good look at us, or at me rather, for Bulger 
was evidently no great novelty for them. 

They kept up a perfect rattle of remarks in shrill piping tones 
upon my personal appearance. I, too, was by no means idle. 

I kept even pace with their galloping curiosity, studying the 
expression of their faces and the movements of their bodies. 
After a few moments I was given to understand that I must 
start at once for the palace of their gracious monarch, Ga-roo, 
the One Thousandth, for they were a very ancient people. 

As 1 rose to my feet and took a few steps toward the water, 
intending to assure them that I could not leap across the stream, 
it became their turn to laugh. 



And laugh they did too, with such spirit, such heartiness — I 
might almost say such violence — that I never realized till then 
that they laugh best who laugh last. 

Again and again their piping, pygmy voices broke out in shrill 
chorus while their pretty doll faces were convulsed with merri- 

Bulger repeatedly showed his teeth, and gave vent to short, 
spiteful barks as the Umi-Lobas continued their, to him, un- 
seemly behavior. But I knew it would only injure us in the 
end, if I showed any signs of anger, so I simply shrugged my 
shoulders and waited for them to recover from their fit of merri- 
ment. Finally, between the pauses of laughter I caught such 
words as : 

“ Pendulum-legs ! ” 

“ Man-scissors ! ” 

“ Man Tongs ! ” 

“ Flip-flop ! Wiggle-waggle ! ” 

“ Here she goes, there she goes ! ” 

Such were a few of the terms expressive of the impression 
which my poor unoffending legs made upon the minds of the 

They quieted down at last and again began to make signs that 
I should prepare to follow them. 

When at last I succeeded in making them understand that I 
wms not a jumper, and could no more leap across the stream in 
front of us than I could hop over the moon, their mirth now gave 
place to disgust. Such pleasant phrases as : — 

“ Lead legs ! ” 

“ Two-legged snail ! ” 

“ Little man stuck-in-the- ground ! ” 

“ Little man tied-to-his-head ! ” etc., etc., were fired at me. 

After a consultation, it was determined to dispatch two of 
their number for a sort of porte-chaise in use among the Umi- 
Lobas in which to transport Bulger and me to the King’s palace. 

Away went the messengers like the wind, in leaps of twenty 
feet seeming scarcely to touch the ground, bounding along in 
the distance like pith balls. After a short delay they reap- 



peared bearing, slung on a sort of yoke resting upon their 
shoulders, a stout wicker basket. 

Bulger and I were invited to step into it ; the cover was closed 
and securely fastened by a stout leathern thong. Then with a 
bumpety bump sort of motion away we went across land and 

Bulger whined piteously and fixed his lustrous eyes upon me, 
as if to say : 

“ Little master, if they are transporting US' to torture or death 
Urn glad I am with thee ! ” 

I soon gave him to understand that there was no danger. 

He returned my caresses and we both awaited further develop- 
ments, It seems that the two Man-Hoppers who had been sent 
for the porte-chaise had spread the news of their strange capt- 
ure, so the whole town was on the watch for our arrival. 

At last we came to a f ull stop. The basket was set down on 
the ground and the leathern thong loosened. To tell the truth, 
I was as anxious to see as they were. 

A terrible hubbub was in progress, those in authority having 
seemingly lost all control over the pushing, pulling, scrambling 
mass of Dmi-Lobas. With such violent outcries and still more 
violent gestures did they gather about us, that I began to fear 
that they would overturn our carriage and do Bulger and me 
some real injury, in their mad curiosity. 

Suddenly a voice, louder and shriller than all the rest, called 
out : 

u Silence! His majesty, Ga-roo, the Thousandth, King of the 
Umi-Lobas, is approaching. Down ! Down ! Silence ! Fall 
back ! ” 

One of the attendants now raised the lid of our basket and 
courteously invited me to step out. 

Without stopping to give the thing a thought, I seized the 
leathern thong, sprang lightly up and threw one of my legs 
over the side of the basket. 

Instantly there was an outburst of shrill, ear-piercing excla- 
mations of wonder, fear, surprise, horror, delight and I don’t 
know how many other emotions. 


For a moment I was startled, and half inclined to make my 
way back into my basket again. Suddenly, however, it occurred 
to me what it all meant. 

The Umi-Lobas being able to move their legs only backward 
and forward, and utterly incapable of moving one leg without 
the other, were about as much astonished at seeing one of my 
legs come flopping over the side of the basket, as I would be if 
you should throw one of your legs out sidewise and strike your 
foot against your shoulder. 

As I sprang lightly to the ground and took a few steps 
towards King Ga-roo, who stood surrounded by his court offi- 
cials, a very lean Uini-Loba on one side of him and a very fat 
one on the other — a perfect whirlwind of such cries as : “ Pen- 
dulum-legs ” “ Walking-Scissors ! ” “ Measuring-Man ! ” “ Little 
Man All Head!” etc., etc., burst forth. 

King Ga-roo received me very pleasantly ; requesting me to 
walk, run, hop on one foot, cross my legs, he, standing with wide 
opened eyes as I went through my paces to please him. 

He then asked me my name, my rank at home, my profession, 
my age, what I liked to eat and drink, how much heavier my 
head was than my body, etc., etc. I made such a good impres- 
sion on the King of the Umi-Lobas that he turned and invited 
me to spend some time at his palace. 

I was delighted, for I was very desirous of studying the 
manners and customs of these strange people, and of conversing 
with their learned men. Suddenly, there was a great change 
manifest in the King’s manner toward me. He listened with 
knitted brows and compressed lips, first to his fat counsellor 
and then to his lean one. 

His lean minister, so lean that he appeared to me to be an 
animated steel spring snapping apart, was named, Mega-Zalto or 
“ Great Jumper,” than the King himself no one being able to 
leap across a broader stream. 

His fat minister, so fat that he was able to advance only by 
little hops of a few inches at a time, was named Migro-Zalto, or 
“ Small Jumper,” and as he had for many years been unable to 
race about the country like the other Umi-Lobas and had con- 



sequently had much time on his hands, which he had used to 
improve his mind reading and studying, until he had acquired 
great wisdom. Hence King Ga-roo’s choice of him as royal 
minister and court adviser. 

I was again ordered to stand in front of his majesty, the 
ruler of all the Umi-Lobas. 

“ Sir Pendulum-legs ! ” said he, “ upon reflection, I am per- 
suaded that thy visit to my dominions bodes no good. Thou 
must know that I have two privy councillors, to whose advice 
I always listen and then do as I see fit. His excellency Mega- 
Zalto,” continued King Ga-roo, pointing to his lean minister, 
“ counsels me to command that thou be stamped and kicked 
to death at once, saying that thou wilt work great injury 
among my people ; thou being a foreigner from a faraway land, 
they will endeavor to imitate thy manner of walking. Our 
good old-fashioned ways of walking will be sneered at ; and my 
people’s legs will soon lose their wonderful strength and activ- 

“ My other councillor, w r ho is a very learned man and loves 
to discuss questions of race, manners and customs with strang- 
ers, advises me to let thee live for several weeks, at least, until 
he has had an opportunity to get some valuable information 
from thee. Now, I am a quiet and peace-loving King, for nature 
by surrounding my dominions with such a network of rivers, 
and giving us the power to leap over them, makes it next to 
impossible for an enemy to follow us. Therefore, Little Man 
All Head, it is my royal will that for the present no harm 
come to thee !” 

“Thanks, most powerful and graceful jumper in this or any 
other world !” said I, with a very low bow. “ I* accept my life 
at thy hands in order to use it to make known thy goodness 
and greatness in every land I shall pass through.” 

My delicate flattery touched King Ga-roo very perceptibly. 
He smiled and nodded his little doll head in the friendliest 
manner. But Mega-Zalto’s fierce, little face was screwed up 
in a thousand wrinkles. I felt within me that he was firmly 
resolved to do me injury. 



Now, there was another interruption. A shrill, piping baby- 
voice suddenly rang out in a series of angry screams, while 
a score of other voices in soft, soothing tones could be heard 
as if endeavoring to comfort the screamer. 

I turned my eyes in the direction of the voices. To my 
surprise and delight I saw coming towards me one of the female 
Umi-Lobas, advancing timidly with light and graceful hops, 
like a sparrow on the greensward. Her head and face 
looked for all the world like some of the wax dolls I had seen 
in Paris, only she was a trifle paler than they. 

It was the beautiful princess, Hoppa-Hoppa. She seemed to 
be in a very fretful and petulant humor, and showed her 
peevishness in every movement. 

Nothing pleased her. She pouted, hung her head, and threw 
her baby-arms about, upon the most trivial provocation. 

As I learned afterwards, this all proceeded from her unwill- 
ingness to marry the lean, bony Mega-Zalto, who was violently 
in love with her, and to whom the King, in a moment of some 
great contentment, had rashly promised the princess in mar- 
riage, and as King Ga-roo had in doing so taken the Umi- 
Lobas’' vow : “ May I never be able to jump farther than the 
length of my nose, if I break my vow,” he dared not break his 
word, and, of course, the old, thin, bony, wrinkled Mega-Zalto 
insisted upon his sticking to the bargain. 

The effect of all this was to throw the beautiful princess 
Hoppa-Hoppa into a deep melancholy. In fact, she refused 
absolutely to partake of any food for so long a while that 
everybody said sadly, “ She will die !” 

King Ga-roo was beside himself with grief. But, as Mega- 
Zalto had no blood, he couldn’t feel any pity for either father 
or daughter, and insisted that the King should stick to his 
bargain with him. 

Led on at last by the rich reward offered by King Ga-roo 
to any physician who could succeed in making princess Hoppa- 
Happa partake of food, one of the court physicians hit upon 
the following plan : 

The attendants were directed to set a table in the princess’ 



apartment, and load it down with her favorite dishes. Then 
the lady-in-waiting was instructed to bind a silk band around 
the princess Hoppa-Hoppa’s body, when the latter retired for 
the night, so arranged that it should press gently, but con- 
tinously on the sympathetic nerve, and cause her to walk in 
her sleep. 

The plan worked successfully. Every night about midnight 
princess Hoppa-Hoppa would rise from her bed, while in the 
deepest sleep, sit down at the table and partake of a hearty 
meal. After which she returned to bed, when one of the ladies 
of the bed-chamber immediately loosened the silken band, 
lest she might arise the second time and overeat herself. 

Princess Hoppa-Hoppa advanced towards me, hopping along 
with a timid air, until she was close enough to get a good 
look at me. 

I was then desired to go through my paces once more, which 
1 did with a great deal of vigor, concluding the performance 
by sitting down and crossing my legs. 

Hoppa-Hoppa smiled faintly at first ; but, when it came to the 
leg-crossing feat, she clapped her little doll hands and broke 
out in a laugh about as loud as the low notes of a flute. 

King Ga-roo was crazed with joy. It was the first time 
Hoppa-Hoppa had laughed for a year. I could see that there 
was a hurried cousultation going on between King Ga-roo and 
his fat and lean ministers. I knew only too well wliat it all 
meant. But princess Hoppa-Hoppa interrupted the consulta- 
tion, and solved the whole question herself by crying out like 
a spoilt child clamoring for a toy, “ I want him !” 

King Ga-roo burst forth into a loud laugh, in which every- 
one joined, save the lean, rattle-jointed Mega-Zalto, yvlio 
scowled fiercely at me, screwing his little face up like a dried 

“ He is thine ; take him, beloved daughter, ” exclaimed King 
Ga-roo gayly, u and if lie can cure thy melancholy and make 
thee once more the joy and sunshine of our Court, no one of 
the glorious gems which deck our royal diadem shall be too 
good lor him. ” 



Amid great rejoicing and loud huzzas, a silk cord was tied 
about 1113^ body and I was led away by the beautiful princess 
Hoppa-Hoppa. Bulger resented the indignity of tying a cord 
around my waist and came within an ace of setting his teeth in 
the thick leg of the attendant who performed that service for 
me. Growling and showing his teeth right and left, the poor, 
puzzled animal followed me to prison ; I say to prison, for that 
was what it proved to be. 

Xight and day, a guard surrounded my apartments and kept 
within respectful distance when I was summoned to divert the 
gentle princess by running, hopping on one foot, walking with my 
toes turned out or in, or with my feet stretched far apart. 

But the one thing which delighted the princess and chased the 
melancholy from the pretty doll face was my ability to cross my 
legs. This wonderful feat I was obliged to repeat and repeat 
until my limbs fairly ached ; but no matter how often repeated 
to the gentle Hoppa-Hoppa it was ever new and wonderful, and 
she invariably rewarded me by smiling and clapping her baby- 

About this time it was that my beloved brother Bulger gave 
me another proof of his deep affection and most extraordinary 
intelligence. I had no sooner begun to prepare for bed than 
I noticed that something was the matter with him. He fixed 
his lustrous black eyes pleadingly upon me, bit my shoe play- 
fully, tugged at my clothing, sprang upon me, then bounded off 
toward the bed, sniffed at it, growled in unfeigned anger, and 
then making his way back to me, began to tease and worry me 
once more. I was half inclined to get provoked. By turns I 
scolded and petted him. All to no purpose; he continued his 
strange actions, growing, if anything, more and more violent 
in his manner. At last I was ready for bed. Striving with all 
my power to quiet and console him, I made an effort to throw 
myself on my bed, so that he might leap up and lie down beside 

But no, it was impossible. With grip of iron he laid hold of 
my night-robe and held me firmly fast, whining and crying 
most piteously, as if to say, 



“ O, loved little master, why is it that thou eanst not under- 
stand me ? ” 

Suddenly a strange thought Hashed across my mind. I stooped 
and glanced under my couch. 

Nothing seemed amiss. 

Then, as if urged on by some unseen hand, I seized the 
bed-clothing and hurled it on the floor. Lo, the mystery was 
solved ! There, hidden beneath the drapery, shone the tips of 
a dozen or more tiny blades, each sharper thaiva needle’s point, 
and as I found upon examination, stained with a poison so subtle 
that the slightest prick would have robbed me of life. Need 
that I tell you how the tears burst forth, how I flung myself 
upon my knees and caught that beloved animal in my arms, cov- 
ering him with kisses ? 

He was satisfied. 

Again, had he added to that long list of debts due him from me 
— debts only to be discharged in coin fresh and bright from the 
heart’s mint. As you have doubtless guessed, this cowardly 
and cruel attempt on my life was the work of that living coil of 
steel springs, Mega-Zalto, who had determined to put out of the 
way the hated foreigner, whose monstrous deformities were so 
pleasing to the being he loved. 

King Ga-roo was greatly incensed when, upon Bulger’s rec- 
ognition of the would-be murderer in the presence of the whole 
Court, the miserable wretch made a clean breast of it, and 
related how he had arranged the knives with his own hands. 

“ Out of my sight, thou unworthy servant ! If 1 do not com- 
mand that thy vile heart and viler head be parted by the exe- 
cutioner’s axe, it is because thy father rendered mine priceless 
services. Go ! Come not again until I summon thee ! ” 

King Ga-roo now took me into special favor. 

In the first place, he was delighted to see how successful my 
efforts had been to amuse the princess Hoppa-Hoppa, on whose 
baby cheeks the roses glowed once more, and whose child - 
voice rang out again as of old, like a flute note or a tiny silver 

His majesty ordered that the Court painter should forthwith 


make a portrait of Bulger for the royal gallery, and that a 
plaster cast of my head should he taken for the royal museum, 

I was much pleased with all this attention. 

But I noticed that the very moment I hinted at the necessity 
of my speedy return home, King Ga-roo skillfully turned the 
conversation to some other subject. The fact of the matter 
was, he feared to have me leave the palace lest his beloved Hop- 
pa-Hoppa should miss my daily performances and fall back 
again into her melancholy. 

The little princess herself was not slow in exerting her 
power over me. Snapping the ground with her feet, like a 
rabbit, when I failed to be quite as entertaining as usual, and 
even going so far as to threaten me with a dose of that living 
coil of steel-spring, called Mega-Zalto, when I refused to cross 
my legs and uncross them quickly enough to please her ladyship. 

One 'day, being in a sort of brown study, over my position, 
and revolving in my mind several different ways of making my 
escape from King Ga-roo’s dominions, I unwittingly paid little 
attention to Hoppa-Hoppa’s commands. In vain she stormed, 
snapping the ground with her little feet, shaking her baby 
hands at me, piping out in shrill and angry tones at my neg- 

I didn’t quicken my pace one jot. A heavy load of thoughts 
oppressed my mind. 

My heart was full of sorrow. 

All that day I had been thinking of home, of the dear old 
baron and the gentle baroness, my mother, and wondering 
whether they missed me at the castle. 

Suddenly came a messenger from King Ga-roo summoning me 
at once to go to the audience chamber. 

With a bound I came to myself. 

The little princess Hoppa-Hoppa had gone to her apartments. 

I started to call her back. 

Every instant I expected to hear that little bundle of bones 
and malevolence jump out at me like a venomous toad. 

With fear and trembling I betook me to the King’s chamber. 

To my unspeakable delight his majesty, the ruler of the 
Umi-Lobas, was in the rosiest of humors. 



He met me with, outstretched hands, poured out a beaker of 
wine for me, and bade me sit down at the very foot of the 

I strove in vain to stammer out my thanks. 

He would not hear a word of them ; said that “ the stream 
should flow the other way,” meaning that I was the one to be 

“Now, little man all head,” began the King, after I had fin 
ished my wine, “ I have sent for thee to try' and make thee 
happy, in the same measure as thou hast contributed to my 
happiness. This day I speak to thee from a father’s heart. 
Thou hast restored my darling child to health and contentment, 
and remembering from my conversations with thee that thou 
art a great lover of rare and useful books, I have had copies 
made of every book on the shelves of the royal library, and I 
now beg thee to accept them as a very slight token of my grati- 

I was speechless. 

The blood rushed fast and hot to my cheeks. 

I stammered out a few senseless words of protest, thanks, 
surprise, and what not. 

The plan seemed to me only too plainly a scheme to tie me 
in King Ga-roo’s service, to load me with several thousand 
volumes which I would have no possible means of carrying with 
me, and which, to leave behind would be such an insult that 
arrest and imprisonment would most surely follow. 

At last I succeeded in getting myself together in some 
shape, and spake as follows : 

“ O, most powerful, wonderful and graceful jumper of all the 
Umi-Lobas, Ga-roo, thousandth of thy line, I implore thee do 
not load me down with such a vast and priceless treasure. 
Thou knowest I am but a sojourner for a brief term in thy 
kingdom ; I have no caravan, when I go hence to transport this 
vast accumulation of wisdom, stored in so many thousands of 
thick and bulky volumes, steel-clasped and iron-hinged. Thy 
gift is far too princely for so humble a visitor as I. Therefore, 
most gracious King Ga-roo, bestow it upon some wealthy noble 



of thy land, in whose spacious castle halls these books may 
find a safe resting-place, shelf rising on shelf, a very fortress 
of learning, impregnable to the cohorts of ignorance.” 

King Ga-roo smiled. 

Then, turning to an attendant, he said : 

“ Summon Poly-dotto to attend before me, and bid him bring 
the library with him.” 

I was more puzzled than ever by this command. 

In a few moments the door swung open, and an aged Umi- 
Loba, well bent with years, with long tufts of white hair 
growing from his ears — for these people do not permit hair 
to grow upon their faces, plucking it out and destroying its 
roots in early life — and carrying a single volume of goodly 
size under his arm. 

He advanced with feeble hops, steadying himself upon a staff. 

His voice brought a smile to my face in spite of myself, for 
it whistled like a flute, unskilfully stopped, and ever and anon 
broke out into a funny squeak. 

But although infirm of body, Poly-dotto was a perfect wonder 
of mind and memory. 

I was fairly startled to find that Poly-dotto could understand 
my language with perfect ease, not a thing to startle one, either, 
when we stop to think that all our European tongues originated 
in this part of the world. 

Poly-dotto hopped forward, made an attempt to bend his body 
more than it was, thrust the long, white tufts of hair growing 
from his ears into the bosom of his garb, and placed the book 
he had brought with him into King Ga-roo’s hands. 

His majesty returned the salutation of the aged sage, and 
then, bending a look upon me, beckoned to me to draw near. 

I obeyed. 

“ Receive, Sir Pendulum-legs,” cried King Ga-roo, “as a 
mark of my affection and a proof of my gratitude, this com- 
plete and perfect transcript of the entire royal library, for 
many centuries the pride of the Kings of the Umi-Lobas.” 

I glanced at King Ga-roo, then at the back of the book 
thinking that it was merely the catalogue of the books con- 
tained in the royal library. 



But, no ; there was the title, “ Complete Transcript,” etc. 

I opened the book. 

Its pages were thinner than the finest tissue I had ever 

I turned to the last page. 

Twenty thousand pages ! 

My astonishment was redoubled. 

With some difficulty, on account of my unskilled fingers, I 
turned over some pages here and there. They were all closely 
filled with minute dots and strokes. 

To my eye, one page seemed like another, a beAvildering 
repetition of these same little dots and strokes. 

I looked up at King Ga-roo and Poly-dotto. They were 
both much amused over my confusion. 

Like a flash the truth burst upon me. It seemed to me like 
waking from a dream. 

Yes, there was no doubt of it. I was that moment in the 
land of the original short hand writers. Here had arisen that 
{mysterious system of recording language by means of dots and 
strokes, of which so many men, in so many different countries, 
in different centuries, had claimed to be the inventors. 

In my readings of ancient peoples I had often seen it darkly 
hinted at, that far, far back in remote ages there existed a race 
of beings, with short arms and tiny hands, who had invented 
a written language to suit their wants, in which absolutely no 
letters at all were used, the words being represented by dots and 
strokes placed at different heights to denote different sounds. 

With a sort of breathless delight I now sat down and began to 
examine the book anew, pausing every now and then to repeat 
a few words of thanks to the King of the Umi-Lobas. 

“ Inform little man all head, most learned Poly-dotto, ” cried 
the King, “ how many volumes he holds in his hand. ” 

Poly-dotto caressed the white tufts hanging from his ears, 
and spake as follows : 

“The royal library which thou boldest in thy hand, contains 
eight thousand volumes all rare and valuable, and only to be 
found in the library of our royal master. These volumes treat 



of astrology, alchemy, divination, cheirosophy, medicine, math- 
ematics, law, politics, philosophy, pastimes, warfare, fift}' vol- 
umes of poetry, fifty of history, fifty of wonder-stories, besides 
several hundred treatises on theosophy, altruism, positivism, 
hypnotism, mind-reading, transmigration of souls, art of flying, 
embalming etc., etc. ! ” 

“O, wonderful! Most wonderful!” was my ejaculation. 

“ But I beseech thee, O, learned Poly-dotto, ” I continued, 
“ impart to me the secret of all this ! Unfold to me the origin of 
this most wonderful system of writing whereby the wisdom of 
ages may be recorded in one small volume ! 

Poly-dotto glanced at the king, who bowed his head in sign 
of his royal consent that the aged sage might sjjeak. 

“ Where we now stand, ” began Poly-dotto, tossing back the 
long tufts of white hair which reached from his ears to his 
shoulders,” was once a rugged and mountainous country. In 
those days, now some thirty thousand years ago, our people 
were more like thine than at present. To climb the rocky sides 
of these mountains required long, sinew}' arms and strong 
hands of great grasping power, and flexible legs, moving quite 
independently of each other, like mountaineers in all lands. But, 
all of a sudden, these rock-crested heights began to sink and the 
valleys to rise; true, very slowly and gradually', but yet unin- 
terruptedly, so that in a few years, what had been a rough, 
broken country, ridged and wrinkled, began to take on the aspect 
of a perfectly level land. With these changes our people began 
to change. 

Having no longer any use for hands of iron grip and arms of 
tireless muscles, they were not long in finding out that this 
strength was leaving them, that their great breadth of shoulder 
and depth of chest were slowly but surely disappearing in their 
sons and grandsons. By a strange fatality, about this time, a 
terrible flood passed over our luckless land. Our panic-stricken 
people had just time enough to escape. For several months the 
regions once inhabited by a contented little nation were covered 
by water many fathoms deep. When, at last, the waters had 
subsided, and our ancestors were permitted to set foot again 



on their native soil, what a change met their eyes ! This vast 
domain of our gracious master, King Ga-roo — the Thousandth, 
had become as you now see it, a perfectly level plain, net-worked 
by the countless narrow but deep and swift-rolling streams. 
But the soil brought in the arms, so to speak, of these raging 
waters and cast upon our houses, burying them far beneath, 
was of most extraordinary fertility, just as you see it now. 
Every manner of plant, fruit, flower, vegetable and grain grows 
here without cultivation when once planted. * "Our people were 
not slow to take advantage of Nature’s kindness and build up 
once more the happy homes destroyed by the flood. But now 
we were brought face to face with a most wonderful state of 
things. Here we w T ere shut in, surrounded by a vast net- work 
of streams, and yet taught by our terrible experience so to dread 
water, that not even to escape from death itself could our people 
be induced to swim across one of these little rivers or pass over it 
in any sort of boat. Time went on. It was either a question of 
living on these long narrow necks of land, and walking scores 
of miles to pass around the bends and curves of the streams, or 
else jump over them. Our wise men issued instructions to our 
forefathers, telling them how from early childhood they must 
train their little ones to leap, encouraging them by rewards to 
keep up the practice until leaping became as easy to them as 
walking and running had been. The royal ancestors of our most 
gracious master enacted most stringent laws against walking 
and running. In a few generations great changes took place. 
It was not an unusual thing to see a child of eight or ten leap 
six or eight feet over rivulets while playing some game like your 
hide and seek. As these child-hoppers increased in years, their 
power of leaping soon led them to see that they could advance 
much more rapidly by jumping than by the ancient, toilsome 
way of setting first one and then the other foot forward. 

The streams now widened, putting the leaping powers of our 
people to severe tests. But we overcame every obstacle, and in 
a few generations it became a rare thing indeed to see a Umi- 
Loba moving about in the ancient manner. As you may easily 
imagine. Nature could not furnish vigor enough to enable 



our people to transform themselves in this manner, and at the 
same time preserve their length, strength and power of 
shoulders, arms and hands. A most astonishing result showed 
itself. What was gained below was lost above. Our people’s 
arms began to grow flabby ; their hands took on a delicate and 
nerveless appearance, as if a long illness had bleached and 
softened them. Then the w T ise men of our nation noticed 
another change. After a certain age, the arms of our children 
ceased growing entirely, and although our physicians made 
extraordinary efforts to overcome this sudden stoppage of 
growth, which usually occurred when our children reached 
their tenth year, yet all their exertions were of no avail. 

Our king, to his great dismay, saw growing up about him a 
race of young men whose arms were so short, and whose hands 
were so small and delicate, that they could no longer wield the 
spears and bows and arrows of our forefathers. Even the 
knives and forks and drinking cups had to be made smaller and 
smaller as these wonderful changes came about. 

And not long, too, was it before our wise men found it utterly 
impossible to hold and guide the long, heavy pens of their ances- 
tors, or to lift the pondrous volumes in which our fathers had 
kept the records of our nation. 

With smaller pens came smaller books, and finer writing, 
until at last one of my ancestors, in a moment of happy inspira- 
tion, conceived the idea of giving up the ancient way of writing 
by means of two score or more of letters, so large that only a 
few of them could be written upon one line, and of which two or 
three were necessary in order to record one simple sound, and 
of using little dots and strokes as fine as hairs, to represent 
the sound of our words. 

Our children were delighted. 

Their short arms and tiny hands were well fitted for such 

In a few years the new system of writing was taught in 
all our schools, and by royal edict became the only lawful 
method of writing throughout the kingdom. Later, another 
of my ancestors greatly improved the system, so simplifying 



it that whole sentences could be recorded by a single tiny dot 
or hair-stroke. 

By means of this wonderful system is it that we are enabled 
to compress a whole library into one single book, as you have 
seen, and to make it possible for our royal master to carry 
about with him on his journeys the assorted wisdom of ages, 
in so compact a form that it may be placed under the royal 
pillow and yet not wrinkle it. 

“ Thou knowest full well,” continued Poly blotto, with a smile, 
as he raised one of his baby hands and pointed a tiny finger 
at the book I held in my hands, and upon whose pages my 
eyes were fixed in wide-opened astonishment, “that in thy 
country a story writer could not possibly squeeze a single one 
of his tales between those covers !” 

King Ga-roo laughed heartily at this speech. 

After a few moments more of pleasant chat, I was dismissed 
by his majesty with promises of continued favor. 

As I was backing out of the audience chamber, King Ga-roo 
cried out gayly, as he shook a tiny finger at me : 

u Look well after princess Hoppa-Hoppa, Little Man- All- 
Head !” 

While seated in my apartment, the day following my recep- 
tion at court and the presentation of the royal library to me, 
whiling away the time as best I could by dipping into the early 
history of the Umi-Lobas, I suddenly heard a great wheezing 
and whistling noise, as if some one suffering from the asthma 
were approaching. 

Bulger gave a low growl. 

I sprang up, and upon going to the door was not a little sur- 
prised to see Migro-Zalto, coming toward me with very short 
hops, every one of which drew forth a grunt. 

However, he finally reached a seat in my apartment, and 
after half an hour’s rest, addressed me as follows : 

“ I bring thee good news, Little Man All Head. His majesty, 
King Ga-roo, lias graciously resolved to appoint thee one of 
his Ministers of State. Polly-dotto has informed him that your 
head is exactly three times larger that the largest Umi-Loba’s, 
and that, consequently, you must be at least three times as 



wise as any of his counsellors. He is, quite naturally, unwilling 
that any other monarch should have the use of the vast treasure 
of wisdom stored in thy head. His design is to treat thee 
like a son, to surround thee with everything that gold can bm T 
or cunning hands fashion, for thy comfort and amusement; in 
a word, so to shower honors upon thee that thou shalt soon 
forget thy home and kinspeople.” 

The effect of Migrd-Zalto’s words upon me was indescribable. 

I felt as if my heart were about to beat its last. 

It was only by the greatest effort that I could pull myself 
together , stammer out my thanks to his majesty, King Ga-roo, 
and save myself from betraying my utterly disconsolate con- 

Behold me now a prisoner for life ! For in spite of all 
these honeyed words, King Ga-roo now proceeded to double 
the number of guards set to watch my movements, and thus 
head off any attempt at escape. 

I, of course, pretended not to notice this extra precaution. 

In fact, I put a smiling face over my sad heart, and pretended 
to be perfectly contented ; to have given up all thoughts of 
ever returning home. 

I took good care to let Migro-Zalto know that I now intended 
to begin studying the ancient history of his people. 

With the princess Hoppa-Hoppa, too, I was all kindness and 
sympathy. But while I was thus engaged in throwing my 
keepers off their guard, I was diving deep into the folk-lore 
of the Umi-Lobas. 

The books of the royal library, so graciously bestowed upon 
me by King Garoo, stood me in good service. 

I determined to get at all the weaknesses of the Umi-Lobas, 
in order to see if I could not discover some way to elude their 

It was all dark to me for the first few days, but at length 
I caught a glimmer of hope. 

It came about this way : 

The Umi-Lobas dread water. My own observation, as well as 
Poly-dotto’s words, had directed my attention to this strange 



Provided by nature with limbs of such extraordinary strength 
that they can leap over streams, even thirty feet in width, they 
have a superstition that nature intended them to avoid touching 
the surface of a stream. 

For the first, I now observed that they had no boats of any 
kind, and that their children, unlike other children, never 
played upon the banks of the beautiful streamlets which 
flow T ed in every direction around their homes. 

“ A boat is the thing I need !” said I to myself, every pulse 
beating wdth suppressed excitement. 

But, ah ! w here to get it ! 

It w 7 ere idle to attempt to build a boat or even a raft 
without attracting the attention of my watchers and raising 
an outcry. 

I must abandon that idea. 

By a strange fatality my bitterest enemy now r came to my 
assistance. You doubtless remember how 7 that animated coil 
of steel spring, Mega-Zalto, tried to kill me by placing tiny 
poisoned knife-blades in my bed. 

Well, after that I never laid down at night that I didn’t 
first pull off the cushions, drapery and coverings of my couch 
in search of any more of the same kind. 

I never found any, for Mega-Zalto was still in disgrace, and 
forbidden, under penalty of instant death, to approach the 
royal palace. 

But I did find something else. 

It was this : 

1 discovered that my bedstead emptied of its cushions and 
clothes, was exactly the shape of a yawl boat ; in fact, of so fine 
a model as to give infinite pleasure to my sailor’s eye, and, most 
astonishing discovery of all, that it was already fitted with a 
staunch and shapely mast, the staff wdiich supported the hang- 
ings. All I needed was a couple of thin, straight sticks for 
booms, and I would be able to take one of my sheets and rig a 
square sail in a few 7 moments. 

Here again I found myself face to face with an appalling 

Even admitting that I could elude the vigilance of my keepers, 



how was I, all alone by myself, to transport the heavy bedstead 
to the water’s edge, a quarter of a mile away ! 

I was upon the point of giving up the whole scheme. 

The more I turned it over in my mind the more its dangers 
and difficulties increased. 

I paced the floor with quick and anxious step, scarcely aware 
of Bulger’s solicitude. 

He was at my heels with vain coaxings, trying to quiet me 

At last, in blank despair, I threw myself in a chair. 

Bulger raised himself on his hind legs and gazed inquiringly 
into my face. 

.His tongue was out. 

He was suffering from the heat. 

For the first time I became aware of my condition. 

The perspiration was streaming down my face. Suddenly a 
new idea flashed though my mind and helped out the old one. 

Said I to myself : 

“ I’ll complain to the King of the heat ; I’ll tell him how accus- 
tomed I am to outdoor life and sleeping in the open air with no 
covering 1 , save the blue sky and twinkling stars ; that I shall 
most surely pine away with inward wasting unless I be permit- 
ted to move my bed during the mid-summer heat down by the 
river side, where the air is coolest and purest. 

King Ga-roo listened to my request without the slightest sus- 
picion that smy idea of escaping from his domain was flitting 
through my mind. 

In fact, he would have as soon expected to see one of his royal 
beds spread its drapery for wings and fly away to the mountains 
as to see it go flashing down the river with one of the sheets 
set for a sail. 

So my request was granted at once. 

My bed was moved down to the river’s edge, where one tent 
was (raised to house me in case of a rain storm, and another to 
shelter the troop of guards which always kept at a respectable 
distance from me, and yet near enough to hop down upon me in 
about three seconds. 

So far all had gone well. At first my plan was to launch my 



boat and make my escape in the night, but T was obliged to give 
this up, for I discovered that the guard was always doubled at 
night fall. 

Escape, if I escape at all, then must be in the broad daylight. 

Six of the Umi-Lobas soldiers stood sentry about m\ quarters 
from sun-rise to sun-set. 

That they were armed it is needless to say. 

But their tiny swords and pikes had no terror for me. 

With a stout club I could have beaten them down in a few 

Their terrible legs and feet, however, were quite another 

One blow from the feet of a vigorous Umi-Loba would have 
laid me dead on the ground. 

I have often seen these guards amuse themselves by striking- 
deep holes in the ground or by breaking stone slabs an inch 
thick with a single blow of their heels. 

I must choose a different mode of eluding such dangerous 

They must be drugged. 

But how to accomplish it ? 

To offer them all food at the same moment would most surely 
arouse their suspicions. 

Then again, they did not all eat together. 

So too, it would be worse than folly to attempt to drug their 

What was to be done ? 

Again my heart grew sick and faint within me. 

I sat down to collect my scattered thoughts. 

At that moment the attendant began to serve my midday 
repast. I glanced at the tempting dishes and sparkling wines. 
It was a feast lit for a King. 

“ Sir Pendulum-legs,” said the serving man, with a low bow, 
* this is the season for O-loo-loo eggs. The first find was made 
to-day. The nest held six. His majesty sends thee two and 
wishes thee a pleasant dream.” 

Now let me tell you wliat this strange speech all meant. 

The O-loo-loo bird is about the size of a quail, and lays from 



six to a dozen eggs of a jet black hue. But as the bird, whose 
plumage is as black as a bat’s wing, makes its nest in the wil- 
derness, among the rank growth of a heather-like plant, of so 
dark green a foliage as to seem almost black, the eggs are invis- 
ible to the hunter’s eye, and the nests can only be found by post- 
ing sentinels to mark the spots where the birds alight. 

As you may imagine, O-loo-loo eggs are worth their weight 
in gold. Nay more, the people are forbidden to eat one. 

Such is the King’s command ! 

They all belong to him, and the finder must straightway bear 
his prize to the royal palace where a rich reward awaits him. 

But the most mysterious thing about them is yet to be told ! 
Not only are these eggs of most delicious flavor, but two of them 
are sufficient to throw the eater into a deep sleep, during which 
the most delightful dreams steal over him ! Visions of exquis- 
ite loveliness flit before his eyes, and life seems so sweet and 
satisfactory that waking is really the keenest pain. The cause 
of this strange effect was for many centuries a mystery and the 
ancestors of the Umi-Lobas were wont to worship the O-loo-loo 
bird as a sort of sacred creature. But the mystery was solved 
at last. It was found that these birds fed upon the seed of 
the poppy plant, and hence the power of their eggs to cause 
sleep in those partaking of them. 

I ate the two O-loo-loo eggs to test the matter, and in a few 
moments found myself sinking into a most delicious slumber. 

When I awoke I saw light where darkness had lately reigned. 

The way to escape from King Ga-roo ? s guards was now clear 
to me. I at once proceeded to save up my O-loo-loo eggs. 

In a few days, they became more plentiful, and it was not 
long before I had accumulated two dozen of them. 

And now, thought I, if I offer them to my keepers as a feast, 
their suspicions will be aroused ; they will refuse to partake of 
them, and the whole matter will be laid before the king and I 
shall be shorn of the little liberty I have. Therefore, I must 
use my knowledge of human nature. 

As each man passed on his rounds I called him to me, and 
showing him four of the O-loo-loo eggs, said : 



“ I like thee $ thou art my favorite, couldst thou he very close 
mouthed ? v 

The fellow’s eyes sparkled with delight, and I could see that 
his mouth was watering at the sight of the dainty morsels. 

Upon his assuring me that he would take good care that no 
one should know how kind I had been to him, I gave him four 
of the eggs, enough to make him sleep like a log for three hours. 

He bolted them, shells and all. 

I w T as much pleased with the working of my plan. 

The next sentinel, who made his appearance a few moments 
after the first, was served in the same way. And so on with all 
the others. Each promised most solemnly never to reveal his 
good fortune to his comrades. 

My plan thus far had worked splendidly. 

In about a quarter of an hour I had the supreme satisfaction 
of seeing all six of them begin to rub their eyes, then }^awn, 
then stretch their little arms up over their heads in the sleep- 
iest manner possible. In less than half an hour they were all 
stretched out on the greensward, snoring like good fellows. 

Now was my time to act ! 

I sprang toward my bed to empty it of its contents and 
launch it on the little river which flowed near by, when, to my 
horror, I heard the princess Hoppa-Hoppa calling, “ Littla 
Man All Head ! Little Man All Head ! ” 

A cold chill crept over me ! There she came, hopping toward 
me like the wind, calling out for me to come and make her 
laugh ! 

What was I to do ? 

Strike her down? 

Smother her ? 

Oh no j I could not have harmed that innocent little doll-faced 
being, had it been to save myself from life-long imprisonment. 

Suddenly, like a flash of lightning, a bright thought flitted 
through my brain. 

I have run, hopped, and stood on one foot, kicked one foot 
high in the air, crossed my legs, etc., to amuse the little princess, 
but I have never danced for her ! 

If she can find it amusing enough to laugh heartily at such 



plain old-fashioned antics, she Avill surely go into convulsions 
when she sees me dancing a quick time jig with heels flying in 
the air. 

So, calling out to her in my gayest manner, I said : 

“ Come, little princess, come little Umi-Loba. Hop this way ! 
Be quick ; I’ve something very funny to show you.” 

She didn’t wait for a second bidding. 

With two bounds she was beside me. 

Bidding her be seated I began to dance and she began to laugh. 
In half a moment I quickened my step and she broke out into 
the wildest merriment. 

“ O, do stop, Little Man All Head,” she gasped. “ O, do stop, 
or I shall die ! ” I didn’t want her to die, but I did want her to 
fall down into a swoon. 

So now I let myself out. 

My legs flashed like sunbeams dancing on the water. 

Bulger looked on in dignified astonishment. 

He failed utterly to make out what his little master meant by 
these furious antics. 

Indeed they were furious. 

Faster and faster my nimble feet beat the ground. Wilder 
and more uncontrolable became the laughter of the little prin- 
ecss Hoppa-Hoppa. The tears coursed down her pretty face 
she rocked from side to side ; she bent forward and back. 

Adding still more speed to my movements, I kept my eyes 
fixed upon her. 

Victory ! 

The end came at last ! 

She rolled over on the greensward in a swoon. 

“ Now or never ! ” I murmured to myself. 

In quicker time than it takes to tell it, aided by my faithful 
Bulger, I emptied the bed of its contents, set my shoulder to one 
end of it, while Bulger fastened his teeth in some fringe that 
hung from the other, and then, he pulling with might and main, 
and I pushing with all the desperation of a battle for freedom, 
the wooden structure was slowly brought to the bank of the 

It was a hard task for us ! 



But we did it. 

Now down the slippery bank it glided with a rush, striking 
the water and floating like a duck. 

In an instant Bulger and I sprang on board of the little craft. 

To rig up one of the sheets as a square sail and set it on the 
pole which had held the curtains was only the work of a few 

A stout long-handled fan served me for a rudder. 

Away ! Away ! I was off at last ! 

The wind was fresh and strong, and my square sail worked 
to a charm. 

At that moment a shrill, piping voice reached my ear. 

“ Little Man All Head! Little Man All Head! Where art 
thou ? Come to me ! ” 

The shrill, far-reaching tones of her voice attracted a hun- 
dred attendants. They seemed fairly to spring up out of the 

Pell-mell,, with a wild rush, the stronger ones leaping over the 
heads of the less vigorous ones, they made for the river banks. 

Alarm bells now sounded on every side. 

Gongs and strangely-sounding horns and rattles called the 
people to the spot where the little princess had been found 
lying half unconscious on the greensward. 

The sight of the half dozen sentinels stretched out here and 
there in the deepest sleep, the scattered drapery of my couch, 
the bed itself missing, all told too plainly the story of my escape. 

All this time, my snug little craft was making good headway 
down the river, which grew wider at every hundred feet. 

With one wild outburst of shrill, angry voices, the Umi-Lobas 
turned to pursue the fugitive. 

Buler whined piteously as he saw them swarming on the 

In another moment they began leaping from one bank to 
another, passing over our heads in perfect clouds. 

I knew full well that they would not dare to leap into my 
boat but I feared that they might overwhelm us with showers 
of their little spears. However I determined to try the effect 
of one of my pistols on them if their spears annoyed me. 



King Ga-roo, beside liimself with spiteful anger, now arrived 
upon the scene, and took command of his assembled troops and 
serving men. 

First he tried entreaty upon me, offering me princely sums 
and royal honors if I would only turn back. 

But I was deaf to his honeyed words. Whereupon he fell 
into a towering passion. He ordered his soldiers to recapture 
me dead or alive. 

A shower of spears now whistled through the air. 

Most of them fell far short of their mark, for the river had 
now widened so that I was at least thirty feet from the shore 
whereon they were standing. 

But a few of these spearlets fell dangerously near me. 

Fearing that their points might be poisoned, I determined to 
try the effect of a pistol shot in the air. 

The loud report of the fire-arm, and the puff of smoke which 
followed it, filled the Umi-Lobas with the most abject fear. 

They threw themselves on their faces and cried out that I 
was an evil spirit. 

I could now see that King Ga-roo had given orders to let me 
sail away in peace. 

They made no further attempts to molest me, and yet it was 
very plain that they were loth to part with the “ little man all 
head,” for whom their King and the princess Hoppa-Hoppa 
had conceived so warm an affection. 

I, too, felt a wrinkle in my heart as my little boat bore Bulger 
and me away on the rippling waters of the beautiful river now 
grown so wide that I was at least a hundred feet from the bank, 
and the palace of King Ga-roo began to fade away in the distance. 

For several miles they followed the banks of the stream, keep- 
ing opposite me, and ever and anon sending me a good bye in a 
soft and plaintive voice. 

Strianing my eyes, I could see little princess Hoppa-Hoppa, 
borne aloft on the shoulders of a group of serving-men, and 
waving me a last adieu. 

Then, once more, I caught the sound of that shrill baby voice : 

Good bye ! Good bye ! Little Man- All-Head ! Hoppa-Hoppa 
says good bye forever!” 



And so I sailed away from the land of the Umi-Lobas, the 
land of the Man-Hoppers ! 

In a few days the river began to broaden out and the land 
of the Umi-Lobas was left far behind ! The moment I caught 
sight of any signs of human beings on the river banks, I steered 
my staunch little boat into a broad cove, whose sloping shores led 
to lofty table lands. Here, with tear -moistened eyes, I moored 
the little craft which had snatched me from a life of keen, 
though silent, sorrow, and followed by faithful Bulger, struck 
out boldly for the interior. After a few weeks’ journeying I 
entered a country which was now and then traversed by traders. 
They were astonished to find me traveling all alone by myself, 
but readily accepted my statement that I had become separated 
from a troop of traders, and that my horse had died. 

I now made haste to re-cross India and gain the shores of the 
Mediterranean, whence I took passage for home, with a joyous 
heart and a memory well-stored with quaint facts and curious 





In the streets of Constantinople, I fall in with an Armenian merchant, 
who presents me with a MS., 6,000 years old. It proves to be palimp- 
sest. Its wonderful contents. I learn of the existence of a boiling 
sea, and set sail in search of it. Three of my seamen are swallowed 
by a marine monster. I rescue them. We reach Neptune’s Caldron. 
Description of it and of its banks. Strange adventures there. We 
set sail for home, but are overtaken by a fearful storm which drives 
us on the coast of China. Bulger saves our lives. I am received with 
great honor by the dignitaries of the province — am quartered in the 
palace of So Too the Mandarin. Bulger incurs the enmity of the 
authorities. He is accused of having an evil spirit, and is arrested 
and put on trial. I defend him. He is condemned to death. My 
efforts to reverse the sentence are successful. Strange adventures in 
the palace of the Lord Taou-tai. Bulger and I are able to overcome 
all obstacles put in our way. We are accorded permission to set out 
for a seaport where we take passage for home. Our joy in finding 
ourselves safe out of the hands of our enemies. 

While sauntering through 
the streets of Constantinople, 
one day, loitering in front of 
the bazars, or listening to the 
tales of some story-teller on 
the street-corner, I fell in 
with an Armenian merchant. 

He was a man of varied 
attainments, had read much, 
traveled much, seen much. 

We ate sweetmeats and 
drank coffee together for 
several days. 

He was so delighted w ith 
my keen intellect, sharp, nipping wit, and great powders of 
imagination, that he expressed himself as being more than paid 
for his journey to Constantinople, although he had not yet 
opened his packs. 

When the time came for us to part, he proceeded to loosen 
the leather thongs which held dowm the lid of a strange looking 
chest, whose top and sides were covered over with curious 
figures in inlays of several colors. 





From one corner of this receptacle he drew forth a volumen 
or roll-book of antiquity. 

To one end of it was attached, by a strip of parchment, a 
waxen seal, stamped with what seemed to have been a monarch’s 
signet ring. This ancient and venerable book exhaled a very 
musty smell. 

The Armenian handled it carefully, saying : 

“It is quite old; some 6,000 years.” Seeing astonishment 
depicted on my countenance, he smiled and continued : 

“ Yes, 6,000 years ! It has only been unrolled far enough for 
me to decipher the nature of its contents. It treats of the 
human soul, and pretends to have solved its mystery completely 
— a problem which has baffled the philosophers of all ages. It 
even goes so far as to claim that the essence which we call 
“ soul ” may be taken out of a body and put into a bottle ; that 
one soul may be thrust into a man’s body to keep his own com- 
pany, and that in this manner the whole world may be reformed, 
made over ; evil being entirely destroyed and good only remain- 

“You smile, little baron, but it seems to me quite feasible. 
For instance, this rare old book quite rightly assumes that if 
we could thrust a good soul into a body already inhabited by a 
bad one, that man or woman would henceforth cease to do evil, 
or, at least, the good soul would continually betray its bad com- 
panion, and, altho’ the man might plan a murder, he would not 
fail to inform some one of his dread purpose, and thus defeat 
his own ends.” 

“ Or, ” continued the merchant, “ take the case of a miser • 
by thrusting the soul of a spendthrift into his body, his inclina- 
tion to hoard money and starve his family would be forever and 
always opposed by an ardent desire to waste his earnings, and 
the result would be that these two vices would neutralize each 
other ; and so with a drunkard or a thief : by placing the soul of 
a water-drinker in the one and of a moral man in the other, a 
perfect reformation could be brought about. This is a valuable 
book, little baron, but I give it to you, merely exacting a promise 
from you that in case I am right in my understanding of it, you 
will impart the secret to the fathers of the church. ” 

2 12 


I gave the merchant my promise, and not wishing to accept 
so valuable a present without making some return therefore, 
1 drew from my finger a ring containing the petrified eye of a 
basilisk, which, in the dark, emitted light enough to read the 
hour on a watch dial. 

He was almost tiresome in his expression of thanks. 

We separated. 

I laid the ancient volume away in my chest and gave no 
thought to it until some time after my return home, when, one 
fine day, Bulger, attracted by its very musty odor, seized it 
by the vellum strip holding the seal and drew it forth from its 
hiding-place, then looked up at my face as much as to say : 

“What is it, any way, little master?” 

1 determined to unroll the book at once. 

The merchant had warned me to be most careful in so doing, 
lest the whole thing fly into a thousand pieces. 

I therefore proceeded to prepare a wooden tablet or panel, 
which I smeared with a strong glue, so that, as the parchment 
uuwound, it should be caught by this sticky surface and held 
firmly fast. 

The plan succeeded admirably. 

After several hours’ close application I was overjoyed to see 
the volume entirely unrolled and held firmly and evenly to the 
surface of the panel. 

Fancy my delight, after the glue had dried sufficiently to 
make an examination of the writing, to find that this ancient 
volume was a palimpsest ! 

I felt instinctively that this dissertation upon the nature of 
the soul was the sick man’s dream of some poor dweller in the 
double darkness of ignorance and superstition. So I made haste 
to wash away his fervid outpourings by a plentiful use of some- 
thing still hotter — namely, hot water and soap ; for my studies 
had told me that the ink used by the people of his time and gen- 
eration contained no mordant, and was, in fact, only lamp-black 
and grease. 

I now got at the real contents of this venerable book. 

The writing was dim and shadowy. I did not let that trouble 



me, for, skilled as I am in the chemist’s art, I lost no time in 
applying an acid which restored the writing to its old time 

I had some difficulty in deciphering the language in which it 
was written — the ancient Phoenician — but, with the aid of 
several scores of dictionaries, I finally rendered it into a mod 
ern tongue, passing it through the Aramaic, thence into the 
Greek, and, finally, into my own tongue. 

When at last I had gotten over all difficulties and could read 
the descriptions with that ease necessary to bring out their 
full sense, I was nearly beside myself with joy. 

It was the story of a voyage made by a venturesome navigator, 
six thousand years ago, when the earth was still in its infancy ; 
still hot in some places ; in fact, only the highest mountains 
and table lands had cooled off enough to be habitable. 

Pushing off from the shores of Arabia, this bold captain had 
pointed his ship towards the rising sun. 

And, wonder of wonders ! after many awful perils and terri- 
ble privations, he had entered waters which, to his almost 
unutterable amazement, grew warmer and warmer as he sailed 
over them. 

At first his men refused to proceed any farther, but by dint 
of threats, persuasion and goodly presents, the bold sailor went 
his way, wondering and rejoicing. After many days he entered 
a body of water, which, from his descriptions, I at once recog- 
nized as the China Sea. But now all further advance was 

In vain his oarsmen lent their aid to drive the little vessel 

Huge waves of heated water, always from the same direction 
drove his craft backward. 

At last the truth of the matter dawned upon him. 

He was on the outer edge of some vast boiling sea, which, 
rolling its hot waves ever outward, drove back his cockle shell 
of a bark. Making for a lofty promontory, he clambered to its 
highest point, wearing thick felt shoes and gloves to protect 
his feet and hands from the heated rocks. 



A fearful and yet a sublimely beautiful sight met his gaze. 

For hundreds and hundreds of miles the waters were in a 
state of most violent boiling, springing and leaping into the 
air as if a legion of giant demons were beneath forcing their 
hot breath upward from vast cavernous lurking places. 

Upon reading of this boiling sea, I was seized with an uncon- 
trolable desire to go in search of it. 

True the waters might have cooled down in all these cen- 
turies, and yet I was confident I should find some trace of this 
once terrible caldron of seething waters. 

The China Sea was only slightly known to navigators of my 
day and generation. 

It had often been darkly hinted at that this vast body of water 
was studded with wonderful isles and filled with rare monsters* 

I had no time to lose. 

Hastily penning a letter of adieu to my father and mother, I 
joined my ship — accompanied by my ever faithful Bulger — 
and turned her prow towards the rising sun. 

So well were the waters of the East known to me, from my 
long and close study of the most reliable charts, that I found 
I could almost steer my craft through them blindfolded. 

It was not many days ere I entered this beautiful expanse of 
water, which, in the youth of the world, was filled with such 
marvelous creatures swimming on it and in it. 

Onward, ever onward, through its dark blue waves, now 
mounting their foam-crested heights, now rocking like a thing 
of life upon this billowy highway, my trusty little vessel 
ploughed her way r . Ten times a da} r , under plea of wishing to 
cool my brow in a basin of sea water, I called out to some one 
of my men to let down a bucket, but only to find, to my deep 
disappointment, that its temperature was no higher than is 
usual in those latitudes. 

I began to grow low-spirited. My crew noticed my dejec- 
tion, and at times my attentive ear caught murmurs of discon- 

To restore my men to their usual good spirits, I offered a 
reward of a thousand ducats to the one who should first dis- 
cover that the water was growing warmer. 



A thousand ducats ! 

It was a goodly sum, but I was growing desperate. 

The large reward, however, had one good effect; it put new 
life into my men. 

All day long buckets rattled against the ship’s side. 

Three of the more venturesome men hit upon a plan to earn 
the reward and divide it among them. 

Lashing themselves together, they then lowered themselves 
down over the side of the vessel, until their feet just touched 
the water. Here they determined to stay, so that they might 
be the first to announce the increase of warmth in the water, 
and in this way make sure of the thousand ducats. 

Suddenly a fearful outcry, accompanied by the most piteous 
whining on the part of Bulger, caused me to rush up on deck. 

A sea-monster, a third as long as our ship, had risen directly 
under them. 

Motionless with fright, they fell an easy prey to this ter- 
rible foe. 

Opening his vast, cavernous jaws, he swallowed the whole 
three at a single gulp ! 

My men were wild with grief ! 

They heaped mad words of reproach upon me. 

I had great difficulty in restoring anything like order or dis- 

My commands fell upon deaf ears. 

At last I succeeded in quieting the raging, weeping crowd. 

Knowing from my experience with such di;ead inhabitants 
of the deep, that this monster had only whetted his appetite 
by these morsels of human flesh, I directed my men to make 
haste and construct a straw man, using clothes of the same 
color as those worn by the three unfortunates. 

Into the bosom of this effigy I stored away a quarter quintal 
of ipecacuanha, of prime quality, which, by good luck, I found 
in my stock of medicines. 

The dummy was now lowered to the water’s edge, at exactly 
the same spot where the monster had made his luncheon on 
my three excellent seamen. 



We had not long to wait. 

He rose to the bait in a few moments, and, opening his huge 
jaws, thrust out a tongue as large and as red as a roasted ox, 
and gulped down the savory morsel I had provided for him, 
with a rumbling gurgle which made my blood run cold. 

Recovering myself, I sprang up into the shrouds and kept my 
eyes fixed upon this rare monster, who floated away lazily a 
ship’s length and then came to a dead halt. 

Ever and anon a quiver shot thro’ the entire length of his body. 

Evidently he was having no little difficulty in swallowing this 
last morsel. 

Huge ridges formed about his neck and rolled backward till 
they were lost beneath the waters. A certain uneasiness now 
marked his movements. 

He rolled from side to side, opening and shutting his jaws 
with a snap that sounded like the bang of two great oaken doors. 

The dainty quarter quintal of ipecacuanha was manifestly 
beginning to distress him. 

His rocking and rolling motion increased in violence. 

At one moment his huge body turned upon its side, bent itself 
until head and tail met; at another it arched itself in the air 
until its black back spanned the waters like a bow. 

I now felt that it was time to act. 

“ Stand by the starboard launch ! ” 1 called out to my men. 
“ Avast that blubbering ! All ready ? ” 

“Ay! ay!” came back from the gang. 

“ Lower away, then ! ” 

I was not a whit too quick with my orders. 

The launch had no sooner struck the water than the sea- 
monster — after a series of terrible contortions, during which it 
almost seemed as if his huge body would be snapped in twain 
* — began to disgorge the varied contents of his stomach. 

First, shower after shower of many colored fishes, of all 
sizes, from a hand’s length to three cubits, filled the air. 

As they fell into the water, they calmly swam away, no doubt 
well pleased to find themselves in more agreeable surroundings. 

Thousands of shell fish, all kinds, sizes and colors, then came 



Hying forth, rattling their claws together as they fell into the 
water, as if in defiance at their huge foe that had been so 
unceremoniously called upon to give up the results of many a 
long hour’s hunt. 

The living was followed by the dead, for now came forth sev- 
eral wooden buckets, three old blankets, numerous bits of plank, 
rope ends, shreds of sail, paint pots, bundles of oakum, and 
wads of cotton, all of which he had picked up while following 
in the wake of our vessel. At last the man of straw was cast out 
high into the air with a deep grunt of satisfaction. 

After him came number one of the lost seamen. 

Numbers two and three were not slow in arriving. 

The launch made haste to pick them up, leaving the sick 
monster to recover his health and spirits as well he might. 

Bulger received the rescued men with ihe wildest manifesta- 
tions of delight, and clapping on all sail, aw T ay we bounded 
before a rattling breeze. 

To my infinite joy, the water now began to increase in 

Hour by hour the rise in temperature, although slow, was 

“ At length, my men ! ” cried I to my crew, “ we are on the 
right track. Be patient ! I promise you that before the sun 
has quenched his fire in the western seas we shall cast anchor in 
Neptune’s Caldron ! ” 

My predictions came true to the very letter. 

Just as the last rays of sunlight were gilding the foam-crested 
waves of this mysterious sea, a long, low line of shore was 
sighted dead ahead, ending in a precipitous headland. 

Bearing away we rounded this and found ourselves at the 
entrance of a large land-blocked bay or gulf, from different 
points in which huge columns of snow-white steam floated laz- 
ily skyward, twisting themselves in most fantastic shapes ere 
they vanished in the purple twilight. 

My men sent up a loud, long, lusty cheer, as we sailed into 
Neptune’s Caldron. 

As we drew near shore, to my great bewilderment, for I had 



not dared to think that living creatures could exist in these 
heated waters, I caught sight of moving things in the Caldron. 
Nay t , there could be no doubt, for these heated waters were as 
limpid as a mountain spring and the bottom plainly visible ten 
fathoms below. 

Pish of all colors and sizes floated hither and thither, while 
myriads of crabs, lobsters and other queerly shaped crustaceans 
crawled about on the snow -white sands, following their leaders 
in long lines, like a procession of cardinals, over the white 
marble pavement of some great city in the western world. 

I say “ crimson lines,” for the heat of the water had clothed 
them all in suits of richest red. 

As I sat in the ship’s launch on my way to the shore, gazing 
dreamily down into the waters, half -dazed by these marvellous 
sights, a shoal of fish rose near the boat and turned their 
beautiful tinted sides for an instant to the cool air. 

To my amazement I saw that their eyes were sightless, that 
the extreme heat of the waters had clouded their limpid orbs 
milk white and shut out the light forever ! 

A cold chill crept over me, for, to me, the spectacle was as 
uncanny as if the carp had sprung from the elder baron’s table 
and begun to swim about in their native element once more. 

But the list of strange things was not yet exhausted, for as 
I drew nearer to the beach, you may imagine my mingled won- 
der and amusement at seeing scores of fish with their backs 
planted against the sand furrows, calmly fanning themselves 
with their broad, flat tails. 

Upon setting foot upon the shore, I was astonished to find 
the land, for far as the eye could reach, covered deep with mil- 
lions and millions of eggs of different sizes, varying from that 
of a pigeon to that of an albatross or wild goose. 

. In places these eggs lay in heaps far higher than my head ; 
in others they were ranged in long lines, like white furrows 
turned by some gigantic plough ! 

Suddenly the truth dawned upon me. To these shores vast 
flocks of sea-birds came to lay their eggs year after year, 
attracted by the warmth of the atmosphere. There they build 



their rude nests and fill them with eggs and enter upon the task 
of hatching out their young, when suddenly the heated waters 
hurled by some gale or resistless current, rises upon their rest- 
ing places and spreads death where life was just beginning, by 
cooking the countless thousands of eggs which fill their nests. 
And so on from year to year, until now I behold the work of a 
thousand floods, which have in turn added their contribution 
to this vast stock ! 

While standing on the shores of this wonderland, one morning, 
gazing out across the steaming surface of Neptune’s Caldron, sev- 
eral of my crew came running toward me with startled mien and 
great outcry, all pointing skyward. I turned and looked in the 
direction indicated. 

A vast cloud, black and threatening, hung in the heavens. 

As I stood watching it, it broadened and widened until it 
fairly darkened the light of day. 

My men were now on their knees,, uttering the most piteous 
lamentations, for they imagined the end of the world was at 

I commanded them sternly to leave off their Availing and 
groaning, for I saw that the great black cloud was simply an 
enormous flock of birds, of what species I could not then tell. 

Nearer and nearer they came, with the sound like the rush- 
ing of wild winds. 

They covered the whole sky like an inky pall. 

It \\ r as evident to me that they intended alighting upon the 
shore of the Caldron, and fearing lest their immense numbers, 
in settling down, might smother us, I called out to my men to 
stand by the ship’s launch. 

There was no time to lose. 

For, as we pushed out from the shore, tens of thousands of 
these birds — a species of crow, but twice the size of those at 
home — began to settle down in long rows as far as the eye 
could reach. 

For the first, noAv I noticed that every crow held something- 
in its claws. I looked again, and sa>v that each of these birds 
carried an immense mollusk, fully as large as a watchman’s 



club and something the same shape. Imagine my mingled sur- 
prise and amusement upon observing that those in the first 
row were now making for the water’s edge. Approaching cau- 
tiously, each crow thrust his mullusk into the shoal waters 
of the Caldron and stood by, with eyes sparkling with joyful 
anticipation, to watch for results. 

He had not long to wait. 

Unaccustomed to the great heat of the water, the mollusk 
soon began to open its shell, first cautiously, but as the hot 
water poured in upon it, with great precipitation, fairly with a 
snap. Waiting for a moment or so until the hot water had 
curled the animal quite free from its shell, the fastidious birds 
then partook of the savory contents, gave a few caws of grate- 
ful acknowledgement, and withdrew to make room for the next 
row. This changing places,, cooking of provisions and feast- 
ing lasted for half a day. 

By that time the entire flock had exhausted its raw material. 
Then with deafening cries and loud flapping of pinions, these 
feathered epicures rose into the air and disappeared as they 
had come. 

Fain would I have prolonged my stay upon the shores of Nept- 
une’s Caldron,, but I observed that the steam from the waters 
was disagreeable to Bulger. 

With speaking eyes, he implored me to hoist sail and seek 
some, to him pleasanter land. 

I could not withstand that appeal. 

So I made a farewell survey of the egg mounds, gazed my last 
at the red-shelled crustaceans and chalky-eyed fish of the 
Caldron and went aboard of my staunch vessel. 

Heading now westward, I crowded sail, intending to hug the 
China Coast pretty closely on my homeward voyage. All went 
well for the first few days after leaving Neptune’s Caldron. 

Bulge? ranged the deck, playing the maddest capers. 

Thoughts of home now began to occupy my mind. 

The elder baron was growing old. I felt that I ought not 
to prolong my voyage. He might be in need of my counsels. 

Suddenly, one day, at high noon, the skies darkened, the 
winds sprang up. 



I thought nothing of it. 

It will only be a mad romp, which will serve right well to 
blow us along homeward. 

But, oh, what a short-sighted creature is vain man, who thinks 
to read the signs of the skies, the winds and the waves ! 

The merry whistling of the wind soon gave place to the 
dismal howl of the blast. 

The storm fiend was stalking abroad. 

The startled waters now leaped wildly tip from their beds, 
rolled tumultously onward, whipped into foam and fury by 
ten thousand lashes of the blast, till, in their mad efforts to 
escape, they dashed themselves against the very clouds. 

The scene was terrible. ’Twas useless to command, for 
not a throat of steel could have drowned the wild yells of the 

To my horror, I discovered that we had sprung a leak. 

The pitch and tar, softened by the heat of the water in Nept- 
une’s Caldron, had bulged from the ship’s joints and allowed 
the calking to escape. 

Like a sheet of card board, our rudder was now torn from 
its place and whirled away on the crest of a giant billow. 

Behold us now at the very mercy of the storm, the plaything 
of wind and wave, a cockle shell fallen on the battle ground 
of nature’s warring elements. 

Bulger, lashed to the rigging by my side, uttered no plaint, 
no cry of fear, no sound of distrust. 

I could see that his speaking eyes were following me about 
as much as to say : 

“ I am not afraid, little master, so long as you are by me.” 

I could feel my heart thump out a loud “ thank thee, dear, 
faithful, little friend ! ” 

From time to time I passed my hand caressingly over his 
head and neck. 

His tail moved sadly, but I knew its meaning. 

It meant : 

“ Little master, I am ready to die ; ay, most willing to die, 
if I can die with you by my side.” 



It really seemed as if his love was about to be put to a final 
test for the dreadful cry of — “ Breakers ahead ! ” was passed 
from man to man till it reached my ears. 

It was only too true. 

Their roar now broke upon my ears, faint, low but deep, 
terrible, half like distant thunder or the growl of some gigantic 
beast of prey. 

In a few brief moments we were on the reef. 

With a terrible crash our staunch little vessel leaped upon 
the rocks and wedged herself in, tight and fast, between two 
jagged ledges. 

The relentless sea now broke over and over us. 

“Oh ! if the day would only break !” I murmured, “possibly 
we might find some means to reach the main land.” 

To stay here simply means destruction. 

After hours of the severest suffering, for every sea which 
broke over us seemed as if bent upon the fell purpose of tearing 
our limbs from their lashings — day came at last. 

I discovered now that we were about a quarter of a mile from 
the main land. 

With my glass, I could distinguish great crowds of people 
running hither and thither on shore. But they made no effort 
to send us succor or to encourage us to cling to the wreck until 
the storm should abate. 

What was to be done ? 

With a fearful crash, our masts now went by the board. 

Our ship was showing signs of breaking up. 

Neither threat nor reward could move any one of my men 
to attempt to swim ashore with a line. 

The sun now burst forth in a blaze of golden light. 

I could feel the tears gather in my eyes as I looked about and 
saw the sad ravages of wind and wave. 

Although the storm had abated somewhat of its fury, there 
was no time to be lost. 

Dread creakings of the ship’s timbers warned me to leave 
the wreck ere I should be crushed against the rocks. 

Only disorder and confusion seemed to characterize the move- 
ments of the crowds gathered on shore. 



While apparently aware of the terrible import of our signals 
of distress, they showed no inclination to risk their lives in 
trying to save ours. 

Turning to Bulger I cried out : 

“ O, dearest Bulger ! thou tried and true friend, companion of 
my sorrows and sharer of my every joy, thou alone canst save 
us ! Thou alone canst rescue thy loving master and these poor 
wretched creatures from impending death ! I know thy courage ; 
I know thy affection. In thy radiant e}'es I read thy willingness 
to do or die ! ” 

From his earliest youth I had trained Bulger to be a bold and 
skilful swimmer. No eddy, current, undertow or whirlpool 
was angry or wild enough to strike any fear to his stout heart. 

With ease, at my commands, he would dive two fathoms deep 
and bring the smallest coin from the bottom. 

Our vessel might go to pieces at any moment, for she had 
wrenched herself loose from the rocky ledge and was pounding 
on the jagged, flinty edges of the reef with a wild and ungovern- 
able fury. 

Every fleeting moment became more precious than its prede- 

Making a superhuman effort, I caught the end of a reel of 
twine, and, having fastened it to Bulger’s collar, bade him leap 
into the bubbling, boiling, seething, swirling, madly-rolling 
waters, storm-lashed, whipped into foam, till billow broke on 
billow and all seemed but one mingled mass of fury, rage and 
fright. With a rapid succession of anxious, whining cries fol- 
lowed by a series of quick, loud, sharp barks, Bulger gave me 
one last look ; and, placing his paws on the taffrail, sprang lightly 
over and disappeared. 

My heart stood still for a moment. 

But look ! 

He rises ! 

He strikes out for the shore, now tossed like a bit of cork on 
the arched backs of a storm-affrighted billow, now sunken out 
of sight into the foam-flecked trough of the sea. 

Look again ! 



Hark ! I can catch the faint sound of that sharp, joyous bark 
sent back to cheer his little master’s heart. 

And now he is gone ! 

I see him not ; but as the twine runs through my hands, I can 
almost feel every throb of that dear, stout heart ! 

Steadily he keeps at his work, for steadily and rapidly the reel 
spins round. 

Crack ! 

There goes our keel in twain. 

Quick, good Bulger ; the end is near ! 

But look ! 

What means that commotion on shore ? 

See the crowd, how it presses down to the very breaker’s edge ! 

Now they fall back ! 


Did you not hear that shout ? 

Saved ! Saved ! 

Bulger has landed ! 

The men on shore have hold of the twine. 

The reel whirls swiftly around ! 

My men, ashamed of their cowardice, crawl from their hiding- 
places and set to work with a- will. 

Already they have fastened a line to the end of the twine and 
it is moving briskly over the rail. 

There can be no doubt now. 

Bulger has saved us ! 

Springing into the main-shrouds and shielding my mouth from 
the gale with my hands, I called out to my men : 

“ Stand by the hawser ! Make fast the line ! Now heave, O ! 
Let go all ! ” 

With an angry splash the hawser fell into the sea and was 
soon on its way shore wards. 

And this was the way Bulger saved the life of master, mate 
and twelve seamen ! 

I was the last man to leave the ship. 

As I did so, she shook herself loose, drew back, ran hard on 
the rocks with such a terrific blow that she broke into pieces. 



as if struck by lightening bolt or some gigantic hammer wielded 
by an unseen Thor. 

With a wild cry of joy Bulger met me as I was drawn through 
the breakers 

I threw myself on my knees and covered him with kisses, while 
teays rolled hot and fast down my cheeks. 

The people of the land gathered group-wise about us and 
watched our interchanging of caresses in deepest silence, agi- 
tating their thumbs and twitching the corners of their mouths. 

“ What land is this ? Where are we, good people ? ” I 
inquired, after this first outpouring of love and gratitude had 
spent its fervor. 

“ Bold barbarians ! ” replied one of the nearest group, whose 
richer dress bespoke the man of rank and aiTthority, “ thou 
standest on the shores of the mighty dominion of Kublai, Child 
of the Sun, Lord of the Imperial Yellow Garb, Knight of all the 
Buttons, Man of the Sacred Countenance, Successor to all the 
Glories of his Ancestors now Guests of Heaven, Source of all 
Law and Equity, and Chevalier of all the Orders, and we are 
his wretched, miserable, unworthy, good-for-nothing slaves ! ” 

Whereupon the entire multitude performed the kowtow. 

“ So then ! I cried, most puissant, noble, and altogether 
delightful, Sir,” — at the same time performing the kowtow with 
that grace which only the genuine citizen of the world can com- 
mand — “ I stand upon the sacred soil of the mighty Chinese 

“ Aye, bold barbarian,” answered the speaker, “ in the prov- 
ince of Kwang Tung, in the district of Yang-chiang, of which I, 
So Too, Mandarin of the White Glass Button, am imperial super- 
intendent.” Hearing this, I begged So Too to give me leave to 
speak, which granted, in a brief but eloquent speech, well 
larded with all those savory epithets so sweet to the ears of an 
official in that land, I told him of my illustrious family, my 
strange desire to scour the remotest seas and least-visited lands 
for marvellous things ; how I had sailed in search of Neptune’s 
Caldron, of the strange things seen there, of my setting out on 
my voyage homeward, my encounter with the stormfiend, and 


last of all, my shipwreck on the shores of the boundless domin- 
ions of the Child of the Sun. 

And now, all that I craved from the servants of the Man of 
the Sacred Countenance was such aid and assistance as would 
enable me and my men to reach the nearest seaport where for- 
eign ships cast anchor, so that we might go down to the sea 
once more and reach our loved ones. To all this So Too gave 
response with a most gracious smile, and then invited me to 
pass beneath his roof, lay off my wet clothes, drink some warm 
tea, and have his rubbers smooth the wrinkles out of my tired 

My seamen were not forgotten. His retainers were ordered 
to look well after their wants. 

Just as we were about to set out for So Too’s residence, sev- 
eral of his body guards struck their gongs a furious blow. 

The din was ear-splitting. 

With a loud bark Bulger rushed towards me, and laying one 
ear against my leg closed his other wdth his paw. 

So Too and his retainers, at seeing this to me laughable sight, 
looked grave, agitated their thumbs and twdtched the corners 
of their mouths. 

Just as I was about crossing So Too’s threshold, to my inex- 
pressible chagrin I discovered that I had lost my purse contain- 
ing a large sum of money. In a desperate hope that I might 
have dropped it on the sea shore, I bounded away in that direc- 
tion, but I had not gone a hundred paces ere I met Bulger carry- 
ing the purse in his mouth. I had in truth dropped it w T hile 
kneeling on the beach and caressing my beloved rescuer. 

Noting that in my eagerness to follow my gracious host, I 
had not missed the lost treasure, Bulger had driven away sev- 
eral of So Too’s retainers, who manifested a desire to appro- 
priate the pouch of gold to their own use, and picking it up in 
his teeth, had raced after me as fast as his burden w T ould permit. 

As we crossed So Too’s threshold, several small, woolly dogs 
sprang out and gathered about Bulger. They were apparently 
delighted to meet with one of their race, so distinguished in 
appearance and dignified in carriage. Fain would they have 



exchanged the usual canine civilities with Bulger, hut he abso- 
lutely declined to enter into any conversation with them or to 
express any surprise at these extraordinary looking cousins of 
his, which seemed like so many animated bundles of freshly- 
ginned cotton. Keeping close at my heels, he skillfully avoided 
their advances, and gave a low growl of relief when the door 
of the ante-chamber was closed upon them. 

After a warm bath, my stiffened limbs were limbered up by 
the stroking, patting and rubbing of So Tqo’s bath assistants. 

I was then invited to encase my body in a rich suit of 
embroidered silk, and this done, was conducted into the presence 
of the amiable So Too, who received me with a smile that was as 
persistent as it was broad. 

Several hours were now consumed in drinking tea, eating 
dainty little sugar cakes, and telling each other the most extrav- 
agant and shameless libs in the shape of compliments, — com- 
pliments about everything, voice, eyes, ears, chin, mouth, hands, 
feet, etc. Although I only reached to So Too’s shoulder, he 
regretted, in a piteous tone, his lack of stature and praised my 
tall, stately, noble, commanding height. 

Overcome at last by sheer exhaustion, So Too closed his eyes 
and appeared to have dropped off in a little nap. 

Seizing upon the opportunity, I raised my voice and began to 
urge upon him the necessity of immediate action with regard io 
me and my men. 

Whereupon he arose, and after a series of kowtows, the same 
broad smile playing around his wide mouth and small kindly 
black eyes — -withdrew to consult with his assistant, sub-assist- 
ant, and first and second sub-assistants. 

It was quite dark when So Too re-entered the room. 

Bulger and I, during his absence, had slept most soundly. 

No wonder, for we were both tired to the bone. 

Orders were now given to illuminate the halls and apartments. 

In a few moments, thousands of the most brilliantly colored 
and quaintly decorated lanterns shed a delightfully soft glow 
over everybody and everything. 

Again we took our places around the superbly decorated table 



which held the paraphernalia for brewing tea and the exquisitely 
painted cups and saucers of egg-shell thinness, and the tea drink- 
ing and cake-eating were resumed. Again I skillfully turned 
the conversation to the subject of my departure for the nearest 

Again So Too arose and backed out of the room for the purpose 
of holding another consultation. 

By this time my stock of patience had dwindled dowrn consid- 

Every moment I could feel my blood grow warmer and warmer. 

After a delay of half an hour or so, a retainer entered to 
inform me that So Too had fallen asleep in the council-room, 
and that no one save a Mandarin with an opaque blue, tanspar- 
ent blue, flowered red or plain red button could presume to 
awaken him, and that there was no Mandarin of so exalted a dig- 
nity within fifty miles of that spot. 

At these w r ords my blood fairly boiled over. 

I sprang to my feet and began to pace the floor like a caged 

Coming to a halt in front of a tall lacquer cabinet loaded dow r n 
with costly porcelain cups and vases, I raised my foot, and kick- 
ing out vigorously, toppled the thing over on the floor. 

The crash was terrible. 

I was really startled, for I was afraid I had knocked half the 
house dow r n. 

But I had the satisfaction of seeing the Mandarin come rush- 
ing into the room, followed by assistants sub-assistants, gong- 
beaters, sword-bearers, liead-sliavers, ear-ticklers, tongue- 
scrapers, nail-polishers, and skin-rubbers, besides many others 
of his retainers, w 7 hose offices and callings were unknown to me. 

“ You have deliberated, now r decide ! ” I exclaimed in a tone of 
voice that for depth and volume would have done credit to the 
hero of a blood curdling drama ; and at the same moment I placed 
the sole of my foot against another cabinet, quite as lofty as the 
one I had just toppled over, and quite as richly laden w ith 
curios, vases and ivories. 

So Too w r as now r w r ide aw ake and not at all anxious to see this 
second cabinet share the fate of the first. 



“Thy foot to its place!” he called out, waving me to a seat, 
and placing himself between me and the threatened cabinet. 
“ Thy foot to its place, my gracious benefactor. ” 

After he had seen me safely seated, he continued thus : 

“ Know, then, my gentle guest, that I, So Too, Imperial Man- 
darin of the white glass button, after mature deliberation with 
my most honorable Council, do order and decree that thou and 
thy servants shall be, as thou hast prayed, forthwith conducted 
to the city of Canton, and there be delivered into the keeping 
and custody of the officers of him of the Sacred Countenance, 
until opportunity shall present itself to procure means of send- 
ing thee and thy servants back to your native land ! ” 

Here I bent my body in token of my profound gratitude. 

The Mandarin likewise made a low obeisance, and then con- 
tinued : 

“ I do further decree that the evil spirit which attends thee in 
the shape of a dog shall be at once bound with chains and cast 
into prison there to await his trial for witchcraft ! ” 

Had So Too plunged a two-edged knife into my vitals I could 
not have felt a more agonizing hurt. 

“ Bulger ? My beloved — Arrested ? Witchcraft* ? Chains ; 
Prison ? ” I stammered out. 

“ I have so decreed ! ” calmly replied So Too. “ Oh ! no ! no ! 
no ! I cried, it cannot — it must not be ! He is no evil spirit-— no 
evil dwells in him. He is but a simple, loving, intelligent dog ! I 
crave suspension of this terrible decree ! What ha th he done ? O 
beloved Bulger, is this thy reward for saving fourteen human 
lives ? Is this the way in which thou art to be repaid for all 
thy courage, thy love, thy devotion ? O, no ! no I Kill me if you 
will, cruel stranger, thrust me into a prison cell, but sparfc Bul- 
ger, spare him ” 

I could say no more. 

It grew black before me. A fit of vertigo came upon me. I 
staggered, reeled, fell lifeless to the floor. 

When I came to my senses, So Too’s servants were busy rub- 
bing and chafing my hands and feet and burning pungent wax 
beneath my nostrils. Bulger, uttering the most piteous and 



anxious cries, was hastening from one side to the other, 
pausing now and then for an instant to lick my hand or face. 
I sat upright to collect my senses ; then clasping Bulger in my 
arms I patted, smoothed, kissed and caressed him amid a hun- 
dred sighs and groans, heartrending enough to melt a breast of 
stone. Then throwing myself on my knees in front of So Too, 
I implored him to be merciful — to spare a faithful, loving being, 
whose heart was as free from guile as the flinty rock from ten- 
derness ; whose life had but one thought : to serve, guard, 
defend, save his master.” 

“Rise, unfortunate stranger !” was So Too’s reply, in a tone 
of deep commiseration, taking me by the hand and gently com- 
pelling me to be seated by his side. “ List ! If thou shouldst 
slice my body into ten thousand pieces I could not revoke this 
decree. Know that in this land of the Child of the Sun, a 
magistrate may not unsay his words. Mercy belongs to him, 
who dwells in higher places. This creature which thou lovest 
so, hath been adjudged to be an evil spirit. It is a favorite 
form of theirs ; for as the dog is man’s close and trusted 
companion, malevolent spirits are most likely to assume that 
form, when desirous of obtaining admission to his house and 
heart in order to work his ruin. This wild and unreasoning 
affection for thy dog proves only too clearly that the evil spirit 
which dwells within him has already drawn the black lines 
of his mysterious art thrice around thy soul. Thrice three 
times will complete his dread purpose. Thou wilt then be 
lost forever ! ’Tis well that some good spirit of the air or 
water hath delivered thee into the keeping of the Child of the 
Sun. For now, upon the trial in the Imperial Chamber of 
Perfect Justice, thine eyes will be opened; thou w T ilt be fully 
persuaded that an evil spirit of tremendous size and fearful 
power is squeezed into that small creature.” 

“ Never ! ” I exclaimed with flashing eye and glowing cheek. 

So Too smiled faintly and laying his hand upon my arm con- 
tinued : “ Soft, illustrious guest, thou forgettest that Perfect 
Justice dwells in the bosom of our gracious Monarch. His 
ministers and judges have tongues ; but they are not their own ; 



they only utter the thought of the Imperial mind; therefore, 
what they decree must he right ! ” 

“ And if the Court, “ I inquired, with hated hreath, “ should 
decree that some evil spirit hath taken up its abode, as thou 
claimest, in the body of my faithful Bulger — what — what — 
would be the — the — penalty ? ” 

“ Death ! ” whispered So Too. 

“ And is this thy boasted justice ! ” I cried, with tear-be- 
dimmed eyes, “ to condemn a dumb creature' to death with no 
voice to plead for him ? ” 

“ Nay !” interposed So Too, “ thou shalt speak for him, thou 
shalt be heard in his behalf — thou shalt be his advocate.” 

“ For this mercy,” said I, “ my heart empties its thanks at 
thy feet; and, if my words, my pleading prove not powerful 
enough to avert the fearful penalty thou hast named, the exe- 
cutioner shall but whet his axe on that small neck, for I shall 
lay my head beside this dearer head than shoulders ever bore ! 
Blow out the spark that illumines those loving eyes and all this 
great world could not light a fire bright enough to cast the gloom 
out of my life !” 

So Too shook his head mournfully, but made no reply. 

Calling my men to me I spoke as f ollows : 

“ Go, honest souls, I cannot be one of you. Return to your 
homes and firesides. An Imperial escort will conduct you to 
the port of Canton. There, beneath some friendly flag you will 
find means to reach your native land ! Peace and good fortune 
go with you ! ” 

Then, turning to my first mate, I added : 

“ Seek out my father, the elder baron, impart unto him the 
story of my shipwreck ; the arrest of Bulger ; and my firm 
determination to save him from the terrible fate now impending, 
or to die with him ! The elder baron knows my love for Bulger. 
He would deem me a degenerate son of his illustrous house, 
were I to abandon this faithful companion of my dangers and 
sufferings to so unmerited a fate. Go! Place this signet ring 
on thy finger. Deliver it to my mother, with my most dutiful 
and humble greeting. Be wise ; be brave ; be honest ! ” 



My men now formed in single file, and as they passed in front 
of me each one paused and pressed my hand to his lips. 

Bulger, too, was ready for the leave taking. Mounted upon a 
chair at my side he extended his right paw to each seaman. 

Tears streamed down their weather-beaten faces and, they 
invoked blessings on the head of their brave little companion 
who had saved them from a deep grave in the briny waters. 

Scarcely were they out of my sight when a deafening beating 
of gongs announced the arrival of the guard. My heart slipped 
from its resting place. A cold sweat gathered in beads on my 
temples. It was only with the greatest effort that I could draw 
breath enough to keep me from sinking lifeless to the floor. 

So Too murmured a word of sympathy. 

At the sight of the gailors and sound of the chains, I uttered 
a piercing cry and threw myself on my knees with Bulger 
clasped tightly in my arms. Poor, innocent beast ! he was 
utterly unable to comprehend the actions of those about him. 

“ He shall be well-treated ! ” murmured So Too. “ Fear not 
for his safety or comfort !” 

The gailors now advanced, and stooping down, clasped the 
delicate manicles — which were of polished silver, upon Bulger’s 

He looked up at me with eyes so speaking, so full of love and 
so trusting that I could not bear their gaze. It meant : “ I sub- 
mit without a murmur, for I know that thou wouldst not let any 
harm come to me ! ” 

Then one of the guards lifted him gently and placed him in a 
silk-lined hamper, slung upon two poles. The lid was quickly 
adjusted and fastened, and ere I could collect my senses to speak 
a last farewell they hurried away with their prisoner, for it was 
plain to be seen their hearts were deeply moved by my wofid 
countenance and grief -shaken voice. 

At So Too’s solicitation I now went to rest. 

Rest ? Alas ! how could sleep get into my tearful eyes ? All 
night long I lay awake bemoaning the sad fate which had over- 
taken me. Had accusation and arrest fallen upon me, I could 
have borne it like a man ; but that Bulger’s loving heart should 





have been singled out to bear a blow so undeserved was almost 
death to me. 

As the hours dragged wearily along I thought of reversing my 
order sending my men away, and of attempting a rescue. I 
thought of schemes to bribe the gailor. I thought of demands for 
the interference of my government. I thought of an appeal for 
mercy direct to the Emperor himself. When day dawned I was 
utterly exhausted and sank back upon my pillow with a groan. 
Anticipating my inability to get any rest for my throbbing brow 
and fever-heated limbs, So Too was early at my chamber door 
with his attendants. Under his directions they bathed me in 
cooling lotions, patted, rubbed, and chafed my limbs ; fanned me, 
stroked my wrists and temples, gave me draughts of quieting 
powders and gently pressed my eye lids down, until gradually 
1 sank into a deep sleep, which lasted quite until high noon. 

I awoke with a strong heart. Now I was myself again. My 
sorrow had not grown less ; but, for the time being, I was master 
of it. 

So Too met me with a broad smile. I kowtowed profoundly. 
He expressed the hope that, his “ tall, graceful, broad-shouldered, 
handsome visaged guest of knightly bearing” had slept well. 
As for me, ” he added, “ my miserable, little, crooked frame was 
full of pangs and tortures all night long. ” 

To look at him it was hard to see any effects of all these 
“ pangs and tortures. ” 

He seemed the very picture of good health and spirits. His 
broad face was as smooth as a baby’s and his little eyes sparkled 
with suppressed humor and mischief. We grew quite merry 
over our morning meal. 

I was playing a part. I determined to let him think that by 
degrees I was becoming cured of my extravagant affection for 

With every cup of tea he drank his cold exterior kept melting 
off. I felt that if I left him quite to himself, he would give me 
a clearer view of his inside nature than if I attempted to draw 
him out by leading questions. I called into use all my wit and 
imagination. I buried him beneath compliments and fine 



speeches. I told him some of my most diverting stories. At 
last, I was successful. The servants were directed to withdraw. 
So Too now assured me in the name of all his ancestors, that I 
was the most delightful guest that had eAer sipped tea beneath 
his roof. He entreated me to honor him by rising and placing 
my tall, graceful, knightly form along side of his miserable, 
puny little rack of bones. 

I made haste to accept the invitation, protesting, however, 
that I was quite overcome by the honors showered upon me. 

He maintained, with equal pertinacity that he was utterly 
unfit to occupy a seat by my side. 

So we continued our war of compliments. Suddenly So Too 
thrust his right hand under his richly embroidered tunic and 
drew forth a small case of tablets, which folded upon each 
other in a curious way. He gave it a slight jerk and it flew 
open and unfolded itself. “ I have been thinking,” he began, 
“ of the approaching trial of thy dog on the charge of witch- 

A lump arose in my throat at these words, but I gulped it 
down and simply bowed my head as a sign of my attention. 

“ Thou art a stranger in our land,” continued So Too, “ per- 
chance thou wilt be pleased to know the things which I am about 
to tell thee. Nowhere else in the great world can Perfect Jus- 
tice be found save in the dominions of our gracious Emperor, 
him of the Sacred Countenance. While thy nation and the 
rest of the Western world knew no other law than force or 
fraud, we had already received from our ancestors thousands 
of volumes filled with the rules of Perfect Justice. Happy 
indeed should be that criminal whose good fortune leads him 
to commit his crime in our favored land. His punishment will 
be exactly what he deserves. Thou, as the advocate of this 
fortunate prisoner, who is so dear to thee, art allowed to choose 
the yainun before whom he shall be tried. I, So Too, thy friend, 
do here set before thee the list of yamuns so thou mayst 
choose thine own arbiter.” 

Saying this, So Too placed the unfolded tablets in my hand, 
and then dropped oil' into a gentle doze. 



I scanned the list with mingled awe and curiosity. It read as 
follows : 











Ling Boss, 

Quong Chong, - 
Poo Pooh, 

Wah Sat, - - - 

Lung Tung, - 
Keen Chop, 

The List of Just Judges. 

Just Judge. 
Just Judge. 
Just Judge. 
Just Judge. 

- A Just Judge. 
And Nothing Else. 

Thinking that So Too was sleeping soundly, I half uncon- 
sciously murmured to myself, as 1 glanced at the first name on 
the list : “ Ling Boss, a just judge ! ” When to my great sur- 
prise — which, however, I was careful not to show — So Too, 
without opening his eyes spoke as follows : 

“ Aye, a just judge ; a very just judge ; but a dangerous one ; 
neck too short, too much blood — hence, brain too hot — never 
willing to hear both sides ; a good judge for him who speaks 
first before the blood begins to press upon his brain, a bad 
judge for a long cause.” 

“ Quong Chong ? ” I repeated inquiringly. 

“A just judge,” replied So Too, “an extremely just judge, 
but too tall and thin ; not blood enough for his long body ; brain 
too far away from heart ; cold and merciless ; does not eat 
enough, only a little fish ; a good judge for a very bad man.” 

“ Poo Pooh ? ” I suggested, in a low tone. 

“A just judge, a thoroughly just judge,” continued So Too, 
“ but not to be trusted $ laughs too easily ; too much given to 
making puns ; always ready to deal out death to a solemn-visaged 



man ; only too happy to sentence a man to death if he can make 
a pun with his name and the axe or block or something belong- 
ing to the executioner.” 

“ Wah Sat ? ” I asked timorously. 

“A just judge, an entirely just judge ” said So Too, apparently 
half overcome with sleep, “ but a judge to be avoided ; too much 
given to asking questions ; never weary of turning round and 
round like an auger, until he strikes bottom ; a good judge for a 
hard and knotty cause — slow, but sure, eating away falsehood 
bit by bit; not a good judge for a plain case.” 

“ Lung Tung ? ” I questioned, half in despair, glancing at num- 
ber five. 

“ A just judge, an undoubtedly just judge, “ So Too gave 
answer, in the same sleepy tone, “ but a dangerous judge ; too 
fond of hearing himself talk ; too liable to use up the criminal’s 
time and then condemn him to death for not having defended 
himself within the hour allotted to him ! 

Here my heart sank within me ; but I drew myself together. 
There was still one name left. I glanced at it despairingly. 
“ Keen Chop ? ” I murmured. 

“ A just judge, a perfectly just judge ; ” remarked So Too with 
a slight increase of animation, a flower, a pearl of a judge ; eats 
well, drinks well, digests well ; fond of the good things of life, a 
great lover of beautiful vases and statues and screens and 
embroideries — always willing to hear both sides and — ” 

Here So Too came to a halt and fell into such a sound slumber 
that he snored loudly. I waited patiently for him to finish his 
nap. He resumed exactly at the point where he had left oft'. 

“ Very anxious to build a larger and finer house and to fill it 
with rich and rare ornaments.” 

Again So Too dropped off. Not to be outdone by him in 
apparent indiff erence at the matters under discussion, I likewise 
gave way to a feeling of drowsiness and was soon fast asleep. 

How long we slept 1 know not ; but, when we awoke my mind 
was perfectly clear on one point. I turned to So Too and said : 

“ I am resolved ! Keen Chop is a just judge ! Let him decide 
Bulger’s fate ! ” 



Three days, long and anxious ones for me, went by before I 
was accorded a hearing in the Hall of Justice. So Too made 
great efforts to amuse me and turn my thoughts away from the 
poor innocent captive. But all in vain. Those dark, lustrous 
eyes were always fixed upon me. Day and night, they kept 
repeating the same question : “ Dear little master what does it 
all mean ? I know you will not desert me, but why must I be 
so long separated from you?” 

At last the long-wished for hour arrived. I was escorted to 
the Hall of Justice by a band of So Too’s retainers A seat was 
assigned me in front of the platform, which the judge and his 
suite were to occupy. The vast chamber was crowded with 
clerks, officers, gong-beaters, accused and accusers ; but a deep 
silence rested upon them all. As I walked to my seat a subdued 
murmur ran over the multitude, for Bulger’s case was in every 
one’s mouth ; and I could see that my youthful appearance 
excited great surprise. 

Suddenly a beating of gongs announced the arrival of the 

Keen Chop entered the Hall of Justice with a majestic tread 
and solemn air, partly the effect of a pair of huge spectacles 
which were held astride his nose by heavy silken cords and 
tassels passed over his ears. He was followed by a vast array of 
clerks, servants and attendants. There were ink-bearers and pen- 
bearers ; there were fan-bearers and book -bearers ; there were 
foot-rubbers to chafe his feet in case they got asleep from long 
sitting ; there were nose-ticklers armed with long feathers, 
whose office it was to arouse Keen-Chop should he drop off into 
too long a nap ; there were eraser-bearers whose duty it was 
to blot out from the tablets all the judge had said when he 
resolved to change his mind. “ Let the vile, miserable, wretched 
accused be brought into the august presence of Keen Chop, the 
just judge ! ” cried one of the Court officers, in a loud voice. 

After a few moments’ delay, the wicker hamper which con- 
tained my faithful Bulger, was carried into the chamber through 
a side entrance, set down in front of the judge and Bulger lifted 
gently therefrom and placed on a table at my side. The silver 



manacles were still attached to his feet. My heart stood motion- 
less as I heard the rattling of the chains which ran from leg to 
leg. I had steeled myself to appear calm ; but in spite of my 
efforts, the tears trickled down my cheeks. Bulger gave a start 
as his dark, lustrous eyes fell upon me and he uttered a long, 
low whine as if to ask : “ What does all this mean, dear, little 
master ? ” And then he raised his right paw as high as the 
chain would permit, and held it out for me to shake — as was his 
custom when craving forgiveness for some' mischievous act 
which had displeased me. 

I pressed the outstretched paw long and tenderly. 

“ Doth the prisoner confess his guilt and humbly beg for 
mercy at our hands ” inquired Keen Choi) turning his huge eye 
glasses full upon Bulger. Whether it was the disagreeably shrill 
and creaking tone of the judge’s voice or the glitter of the large 
glass discs set in front of his eyes, which displeased Bulger, I 
know not ; certain it is he made answer for himself with a single 
loud and angry bark. Keen Chop was so startled that he 
dropped his smelling salts and motioned to his fan-bearers to 
cool his heated face. 

“ Silence ! ” roared one of the gong-beaters, giving a deafening 
thump upon his gong to inspire respect ; and, at the same time 
fiercely agitating his bristling eye-brows and mustachios. 

“ My lord judge, ” said I performing the kowtow, “ I crave 
consent to speak for the prisoner. He is not guilty of witch- 
craft. Nor doth any manner or kind of evil spirit dwell within 
his body. He is a true and faithful servant and companion of 
mine; perchance, with somewhat more than the usual intelli- 
gence of his kind. As his defender I call for the proofs of this 
most unmerited accusation ! ” 

Keen Chop now fell asleep. But, after a few moments, his 
nose-tickler succeeded in arousing him. 

“ Let the proofs be read ! ” spake Keen Chop in slow and 
measured tones. One of the clerks arose ; and unfolding a huge 
sheet of paper, with wooden rollers fastened at the top and 
bottom like a window shade, began to read in a drawling, sing- 
song voice as follows : 



Proof First : That the prisoner did, without any command, 
upon reaching the shore from the wreck, proceed to bite the 
twine attached to his collar in twain ; and, taking up the end 
in his mbuth, pass by a group of imperial officers, and a group 
of merchants, and a group of artisans, and a group of idlers, 
and make for a group of sailors, at whose feet he laid down 
the end of the twine. 

Proof Second : That the prisoner did, at the sound of the 
official gong, unlike the animals of his race dwelling among us, 
manifest great displeasure and ill-humor, rush towards his 
master, lay one ear against his master’s body and close the other 
with his paw. 

Proof Third : That the prisoner did, on the same day, in the 
presence of imperial officers, without any command, pick up a 
purse of gold dropped by his master and restore it to him. 

Proof Fourth : That the prisoner did, on the same day, in 
the presence of imperial officers, upon crossing the threshold 
of the Lord High Mandarin So Too, unlike animals of his kind, 
contemptuously and disdainfully reject the kindly welcome 
and friendly greetings given him by his Excellency’s dogs. 

I confess that, as the clerk of the Court finished reading 
these proofs, my heart rose slowly into my throat. They were, 
in good earnest, proo'fs of far more than the usual intelligence 
of animals of his race. I was staggered by the amount of proof 
they had collected. While I felt that I should have di^fficulty 
in persuading Keen Chop that all this was only the result of 
careful training, aided by a special aptitude on Bulger’s part, 
I was very careful not to betra}^ an} r nervo/usness or lack of 

I called for some tea, on a plea of needing refreshment ; 
but really to gain time to collect my thoughts and get myself 
together, after such a staggering blow. 

Meanwhile, Keen Chop dropped off into a calm doze. 

I finished my tea and sat waiting patiently for the nase-tick- 
ler to arouse him. 

When I saw that Keen Chop was wide awake again, I arose 



with great dignity ; and, placing myself beside Bulger, who 
was watching my every movement and listening to my words 
with an almost painfully anxious expression, which meant 
only too plainly : “ What does it all mean, dear little master ? ” 
I began as follows : 

“ My Lord Judge ! Most ancient, antique and venerable 
Patriarch, stricken in full five score of honorable years, thy 
snow-white locks bespeak thy wisdom !” The fact of the 
matter is, Keen Chop was quite a young man, and so far as I 
could see had no hair at all on his face or head save a scanty 
pig-tail ; but I knew how flattering it was to a magistrate to be 
called “ old and venerable ” and hence my desire to make a good 
impression at the very outset. “ My mother’s breast knows no 
other child than me and I no other brother than this faithful 
creature whom heaven, for its own good reasons, hath set upon 
four feet ; but who, if the strength of love could lift him up, 
would walk beside me, our two hearts on the same level. O, 
venerable judge — whose wisdom, like fair fruit red-ripened in 
the Autumn season, is now so ennobled by the flight of time, 
thou knowest what love can do ! Thou knowest full well how 
it can so steel the thin beak of the mother bird, that the mer- 
ciless talons of the hawk have no terror for her ! Thou know- 
est, better than this poor bit of humanity which now pleads 
before thee, that man’s spear hath not point sharp enough to 
drive the bear from her cub ! Thou knowest how the timorous 
sparrow, to shield her nestlings, will face the viper’s horrid 
crest, forked tongue and stony eye ! And what shall I say 
of this faithful creature’s race ? When lived there one of his 
kind that was known to desert a poof* and humble master, for 
a richer one; or to refuse forgiveness for a rash and unde- 
served blow ? Where else can human hearts invest their love 
and draw such usurer’s rates as here ? We were babes together ! 
The same sunbeams that danced a welcome on my awakening 
into life, found him, too, just arrived. Of quicker growth, he 
was his brother’s keeper. I gave him all my love, for no other 
playmate was there to share it. I planted better than I knew,, 
for on the thankful soil of his true heart, that love of mine 



struck such deep and vigorous root that it gave of its strength 
and power to his brain ! Love hath so sharpened thought, 
that it hath grown wondrous strong ! The spirit, thou callest 
‘ evil,’ is, as the learned know, a reasoning being $ and, although 
it may go upon four feet and whine, and yelp, and growl, and 
bark, this is but the mask it w r ears. 

“ O aged judge, in the vast storehouse of whose mind exper- 
ience hath piled wisdom many stories high, thou wilt ere long 
believe me, for I shall make it most plain to thee — that this 
faithful,, loving animal, is not gifted with the mysterious 
power of reason ! True, most true, nature hath widened his 
vision : but not removed its boundaries. 

Mark now, O learned patriarch, how easy a thing it is for 
truth to pierce the armor falsehood wears,, for gird she ne’er 
so tightly, there are always some joints that will not come 
together ! 

“ If my poor, weak mind be not strong enough to brush away 
the so-called proofs of this evil spirit, then let me be withered 
by the flame of thy just indignation ! This creature loves me ! 
Not the vigor of ten-thousand human hearts blent in one could 
yield a warmer love than his for me ! And yet behold how 
short its vision is ! 

“ This curious fire-arm was given me by a Turkish merchant 
whose life I saved in a brawl. I have so set it that a feather’s 
weight will discharge it ; but, first I smeared some sugar paste 
upon its trigger. Lo ! I turn it toward my breast ! If this 
creature now hath but the faintest glimmer of impending harm 
to his beloved master, he will refuse to lick away the sugar 
paste ! ” 

A deathlike silence fell upon the assembly. I held the fire-arm 
out towards Bulger. In an instant he scented the sweet odor 
of the paste and thrust his tongue out in several unsuccessful 
efforts to reach it. A sharp explosion rang through the great 

I stooped and picked up the ball — which had flattened itself 
upon a steel plate hidden beneath my robe. 

Bulger’s amazement was not so great as Keen Chop’s. He 



made signs for refreshment. Tea was hurriedly served. A 
hundred fans wafted the sulphurous vapor away from his 

“ Once more, O wiser judge than ever in Western Lands, shed 
the radiance of human wisdom on things dark and obscure, 
behold how I tear away the weft of falsehood which some 
ingenious mind would have this august tribunal adjudge to be 
pure truth ! Here, on this salver, I hold some toasted bits of 
cocks’ combs — to this creature’s taste, the -daintiest morsel 
which nature and art can unite in producing ! ” Catching a 
snilf of his favorite dish, my good Bulger began to bark and 
whine and strain his manacles to their utmost in wild endeavors 
to reach it. I held the salver out so as to permit him to reach a 
few pieces of the toothsome food. He was now beside himself ; 
one moment begging, coaxing, pleading; the next, scolding, 
threatening, expostulating. No doubt he was very hungry, for 
it was hardly to be expected that the prison messes would suit 
his dainty palate. 

“ Most venerable judge ! ” I resumed, “ as thou well knowest, 
evil spirits hold in great repugnance and dread all subtle and 
mysterious brews and poisonous compounds with which man 
strives to display or destroy them. Look now ! I sprinkle 
this coveted dish, before his very eyes, with a powder so deadly 
and direful in its effect on life that this weak hand of mine 
holds power enough to change this mighty hall filled with 
light and life, into one vast charnel house. And again 1 bring 
the food within his reach, covering it with a sheet of glass lest 
his ardor out-wit my vigilance ! ” 

Bulger now fell upon the plate of glass which covered the 
food, with renewed impetuosity, giving vent to sharp cries of 
disappointment as he vainly endeavored to lick up the tid-bits, 
rattling his chains as he strove to scratch away the glass which 
kept him from his expected feast. 

Commanding him to be silent, I uncovered the dish and set 
it within reach of several dogs which I had caused to be tied 
near at hand. 

At the first touch of the poisoned food they fell to the ground 
as if stricken by a thunderbolt. 



“ Again, most sapient and venerable judge, let me add proof 
to proof that naught of reason dwells within the mind of this 
faithful creature ! ” 

“I was wounded once in his sight by a treacherous slave. 
His dagger point pierced my breast ; but I smote him dead 
ere he could find my heart. Yet the danger of that moment 
seared the image of that poniard forever on this creature’s 

Bid now a retainer turn a dagger towards my breast ! ” 

It was done ! 

With frantic cries and wild-starting eyes Bulger strove to leap 
upon my supposed assailant. 

“ Cover now the blade with its sheath ! ” 

It was done ! 

Again my good Bulger made desperate efforts to reach the 
man, filling the room with cries of rage and fear. 

“ Cast away both sheath and blade ! ” 

’T was done ! 

But still my loved Bulger made maddest effort to protect his 

“Cast away the heft and blade and raise the empty sheath 
against my breast ! ” 

’Twas done ! 

Still it was all the same ! No matter whether covered or uncov- 
ered point; whether harmless heft, or still more harmless 
sheath, was turned towards my breast, Bulger’s cries of mingled 
rage and fear, his mad attempts to break away from the 
shackles which bound foot to foot were first and last, exactly 
as fierce. 

Keen Chop now did several things. He drank some tea. He 
ordered one of his menials to tickle his ear. He removed his 
huge spectacles and handed them to an attendant wTio proceeded 
to polish them. He then attempted to fall asleep. But, at a 
sign from me, Bulger began to bark so furiously that he gave a 
sudden start as if he thought the animal was about to lay hold 
of his calves. Taking advantage of this, I strode up in front of 
Keen Chop ; and fixing my gaze upon him, spake as follows : 

“Most ancient Magistrate, I crave your gracious consent to 



add another plea to my defense of this dumb creature. I 
would be the veriest ingrate, whom any wretched outcast might, 
with justice, spurn and revile, were I not to defend this devoted 
being with all my mind’s cunning and heart’s love ! ” 

With these words, I sprang lightly up the steps which led to 
Keen Chop’s chair, and ere he could say nay, caught up his fan 
which he had just laid down on the table beside him. 

“Now, venerable judge, for a last, — and I trust overwhelming 
— proof that no evil spirit dwells within thaUcreature’s body.” 

Here are two fans : Thine ! Mine ! Thine, made sacred by the 
touch of thy age-palsied and time-stricken hand ! Mine, a 
worthless trifle ; if it were possible, made still more worthless 
by the touch of my worthless hand. If, as this Court hath 
charged, an evil spirit dwells in this animal’s body, it knows full 
well that power of life or death hangs on thy lips ; that thou 
canst pardon with a smile or slay with a frown ; that thou canst 
condemn to lingering torture or strike his shackles off with a 
nod ! 

Ay, more ! that if it should, to thine eyes seem meet and wise, 
thou canst adjudge both master and dog worthy of death 
and grant them no greater boon than that their blood shall flow 
together after life is over, as their love was one when living ! ” 

“Behold, I cast these two fans at his feet!” 

Loud murmurs broke out all over the vast assembly. Many 
rose in their seats and craned their necks to watch the result. 

Bulger looked up at me with a puzzled air at first ; but his 
mind was soon made up. He picked up my fan tenderly and 
carefully, and with wide-opened, love-lit eyes, raised himself on 
his hind feet and laid it in my lap, wagging his tail the while, 
as much as to say: “Never fear, little master, I know. what 
belongs to thee ! ” 

Then, with an outburst of snarling, barking and growling, 
threw himself upon Keen Chop’s fan, shook it savagely until 
the richly painted covering was torn in shreds and lay scattered 
about ; tossed it up in the air, only to leap upon it with all fours 
as it touched the floor ; and then, setting his stout claws in its 
joints wrenched them asunder as if they were made of paper. 



But this was not all ! 

To complete the list of indignities which he had visited upon 
Keen Chop’s property, he now turned his hack toward that grave 
magistrate ; and by several sudden and vigorous kicks with his 
hind feet, sent the sticks in a shower flying so close to his head 
that one actually struck against the huge disc of glass placed 
in front of Keen Chop’s right eye. But a court officer, who had 
fallen sound asleep, and let his head fall backward, did not 
escape so luckily. Two of the largest sticks entered his nostrils 
and remained sticking there like arrows in a target. The man 
a woke with an ear-piercing shriek. In spite of the commands of 
the court officers, that every one who laughed should be bastin- 
adoed, there was suppressed giggling here and there. Keen 
Chop himself twisted his face into the most comical grimaces 
in order to keep from bursting out into a fit of laughter. As 
for Bulger, he was beside himself with pleasure. In fact, he 
fairly howled with joy. Keen Chop now moved his thumb as a 
sign that he was about to speak, and a deep silence fell upon the 

I was summoned to approach the steps of the judge’s chair. 
He spake as follows : 

“ When thou art taller, thou wilt be stronger ! When thou art 
older, thou wilt be wiser ! 

“ Know then, that, as the abject slave of the Child of the Sun, 
him of the Sacred Countenance, Lord of all the Orders, I had 
intended to dismiss this charge against thy dog, cast off his 
manacles and set him free. But it may not now be done ! 

Thy pleading hath convinced me that he doth deserve to die ! 
A just cause needeth no other defence than words. But thou 
hast pleaded with hands and legs and feet ! Thou hast been 
over-earnest ! ’Tis proof, thou knewest the weakness of thy 
cause. Hadst thou not spoken at all and had thy dog himself 
but oped his mouth at the very outset, what had fallen there- 
from would have freed him from his shackles. 

Now he must die ! 

Let him be delivered to the public executioner ! ” And then, 
with a motion of his hand, he ordered the gongs to beat, so that 



it was impossible for me to make reply. The great chamber 
was now the scene of the wildest hubbub. The guards crowded 
around me as if they feared I might, in my desperation, sac 
rifice my life in attempting to rescue Bulger. 

Poor Bulger ! He had been quickly lifted into his wicker 
cage and borne out of the court-room. 

Although I could feel my heart hammering on my ribs I gave 
no sign of the storm of emotion that was sweeping over my 
inward being. I could hear those terrible words “ public exe 
cutioner ” ringing in my ears ; but my infallible second sight 
caught no glimpse of that dreadful officer, and hence I felt 
that there was still hope. But, I moved neither hand nor foot. 

The gongs ceased beating. 

The throng departed from the hall of justice. 

The guards, kowtowing, backed out of my presence. I stood 
there alone in that vast, silent chamber. 

I was aroused at last from my deep reverie by the approach 
of a messenger from Keen Chop. He thus addressed me : 

“ The wretched, little, misshapen Keen Chop humbly begs 
the tall and stately stranger to drink tea with him in his private 

Mechanically I followed the judge’s servant, who lead me 
through long and winding corridors. Keen Chop had laid off 
his huge spectacles and received me most graciously. 

All the servants were dismissed. We sipped our tea in silence 
for a while. At length, rising and stepping behind a screen, 
he returned, bearing a huge volume. 

It was the record of Bulger’s trial. He desired me to examine 
it while he refreshed himself after his long sitting on the 
judge’s bench with a short nap. 

I turned the leaves of the record over slowly. Not only were 
my words set down with the most perfect accuracy, but correct 
drawings of the various scenes filled the broad margins of the 

On the last page I noticed that a blank space had been left 
between the words “ must” and “ die ” and “ him ” and “ be 



“ ’Tis miraculous ! ” exclaimed Keen Chop, starting up and 
rubbing his eyes. “What a wonderful creature is .thy dog! 
As I slept I dreamt that he oped his mouth and what fell there- 
from convinced me of his innocence.” 

“Let him be brought into your august presence, O just 
judge ! ” I replied. 

In a few moments Bulger’s wicker house was deposited on 
the floor and he was lifted gently out of it. I could only with 
the greatest exertion keep back the tears as his large, speaking- 
eyes were turned full upon me as if to ask : “ When will all this 
mystery come to an end, little master?” I stroked his head 
with a loving hand to assure him that all was right. 

No sooner were the attendants out of the apartment than, 
taking the purse of gold which Bulger had picked up on the 
beach and restored to me, I placed it in his mouth and made a 
sign for him to carry it to Keen Chop, who had now resumed 
his huge spectacles, and sat poring over the pages of the 
record of Bulger’s trial. 

Bulger did not wait for a second bidding. 

Making straight for Keen Chop, he raised himself on his 
hind feet and dropped the purse m that dignitary’s lap. 

“’Tis wonderful! ’Tis very wonderful!” cried Keen Chop, 
testing the weight of the purse, with a pleased expression of 
countenance, first in one hand and then in the other. “Thy 
speech was silvern, but his silence is golden ! ’Twere a crime 
to part two such faithful hearts. Go in peace ! ” 

“ But the record of the trial ? ” I asked. Keen Chop spoke 
not, but turning to the last page, he laid his finger on the place 
where the blank spaces had been left. 

They were now both filled. 

The word “ not ” had been written in each of them. 

The guards were now summoned, and in a few moments the 
shackles were loosened from Bulger’s feet. Upon finding him- 
self free once more, he leapt into my lap with a wild cry of joy, 
and covered my hands and face with caresses. 

I could not keep the tears back. Clasping the faithful ani- 
mal convulsively in my arms, I wept like a child. 



But a cloud came oyer our joy ; for Keen Chop, upon my 
request for a safe conduct to the nearest seaport, informed me 
that he was powerless to grant my request ; that 1 must apply 
to Slim Lim, the Taou-tai, or Imperial Governor of the province, 
Lord of the Peacock Feather, Knight of the Plain Red Button, 
etc., etc. 

“ ’Tis well ! ” I exclaimed. “ L>eign to send one of thy ser- 
vants to conduct me into the presence of his honor the Taou-tai ! 
I pine to set foot once more on my native strand. I long to put 
an end to the sorrowful anxiety of my parents.” 

Keen Chop shook his head and smiled sadly. 

“Know, O honored guest,” said he, “ that no one may approach 
the Taou-tai, Lord of the Peacock Feather, unless in answer to 
most humble petition of twenty pages length, his high and 
mighty Lordship deign to accord an audience ! To attempt to 
do otherwise might mean death at the hands of the guards ; 
but would most surely mean imprisonment in the deepest dun- 
geon of the imperial fortress.” 

“So be it ! ” I replied. “ Come death, come imprisonment, I 
stand this day in the presence of Slim Lim the Taou-tai, Knight 
of the Plain Red Button, and Lord of the Peacock Feather! ” 

Keen Chop groaned loud and deep. But seeing that I was 
resolved to set out at once for the governor’s palace, he sent one 
of his attendants to conduct me to the gate, instructing him, in 
case the guards raised their swords to slay me, to cry out in a 
loud voice that I was a harmless lunatic and had escaped from 
my keepers. 

To end all opposition I consented to this. 

Whereupon Keen Chop bade me aii affectionate adieu, and, 
followed by my faithful Bulger, I turned my steps toward the 
palace of the Taou-tai. 

To tell the truth, chaos reigned within my mind. 

In as many seconds, twenty different plans of action occu- 
pied my thoughts. How shall Bulger and I overcome the oppo- 
sition of armed guards ? It will be madness to provoke them 
to use their weapons upon us ! 

If I am fated to stand in the presence of the Lord Taou-tai, 
it must be accomplished by ruse and strategem. 



Luckily for me, the shades of night now began to fall, for, 
although the gateway and corridors of the governor’s palace 
might be illumined by ten thousand lanterns — as in truth I 
found them to be, when I reached them — yet the light they shed 
was soft and uncertain. 

Counting upon the almost lightning celerity of my movements 
and the utterly noiselessness of my footsteps, I succeeded quite 
easily in flitting by the group of sentries who were stationed at 
the outer gate. 

Delighted with my good fortune, I sprang lightly up the steps 
of the portico, and, closely followed by Bulger, strode into the 
main corridor with dignified mien and stately air. 

Eight towering fellows, armed with savage-looking pikes — for 
one of whom it would have been no more trouble to spit me and 
toss me out of the window, than for a boy to impale a frog on 
the end of his pointed stick and toss it on dry land — now blocked 
my advance. 

So noiseless had been my step that I had approached within a 
few feet of them before they became aware of my presence. 
Had I dropped from the clouds, their astonishment could not 
have been greater and more ludicrous to behold. 

They clutched each other by the arm, leveled their index 
fingers at me, and whispered in a hoarse voice, as one man : 

“ A little devil ! ” 

“Nay, my good men,” I replied, with a most gracious smile, 
“ not a little devil, but a soldier like yourselves ; one who has 
fought ’neath many skies, knows what a good sword is, what 
good wine is, would rather fight than run, can tell a good 
story, and loves war as a hunter loves the chase ! ” 

The eight men looked at each other, tapped their foreheads 
significantly, and then fixed their gaze upon me as if they were 
in doubt whether my next move would be to jump down their 
throats, vanish into thin air, or expand into an awful ogre, and 
gulp them all down without pepper or salt. 

“ Come, comrades,” I called -out in a careless tone, lay aside 
your pikes, and I’ll show you something that I picked up on a 
battle-field in the war against the Algerines, something so curi- 



ous, that if you had not slept a wink for three months and a day 
you would still he willing to keep awake and examine it.” 

Saying this, I drew my musical snuff box out of my pocket, 
and tapping its lid mysteriously, tiptoed my way towards the 
outside entrance of the corridor, and beckoned them to follow 

They did so, with the most comical expression of half -wonder 
and half curiosity depicted on their faces. But first they 
quietly set their grim-looking pikes in the i^tck against the wall. 

Motioning them to lay their heads together and bend down so 
that they could see and hear — for I reached about up to their 
girdles. I touched the spring of the snuff box and it began to 
to play. 

It is impossible for me to give you any idea of the delight 
which shone upon their great, round smooth faces. 

Their mouths fell open. 

Their fingers twitched nervously, as if they longed to touch 
the little wonder, and yet dared not. I felt now that the moment 
had. arrived for me to act. 

Winding up the snuff box to its utmost limit, I thrust it into 
the hands of one of the guards, who seemed beside himself 
with joy, and showed him how to touch the secret spring. 

As the music began again, they closed up their group so 
tightly that even if I had wished to remain one of the circle it 
would have been an impossibility. To my infinite satisfaction 
they now seemed to dismiss me most unceremoniously from their 

More quickly than it takes to tell it, I drew a ball of strong 
twine from my pocket, and fastening the ends of their cues 
securely together, I retreated to the outside entrance of the 
palace and placed the other end of the string between Bulger’s 
teeth, with a motion that meant : 

u Stand fast and pull hard ! ” 

In another instant I had passed the group of guards and was 
making for the door of the audience chamber. 

Suddenly the enormity of their negligence dawns upon them 

They look up. 


They see me already at the end of the corridor ! 

They drop the enchanted box which has decoyed them from 
the path of duty ! 

They start towards their pikes ! 

Some mysterious force holds them chained to the floor ! 

Bulger is doing spendid woik ! 

My hand is on the door of the audience chamber ! 

Smitten with a superstitions dread of some unseen power, 
the guards stand rooted to the spot. 

A low whistle tells Buger that his task is complete. 

He flashes through the corridor like a spirit. 

We enter the vestibule of the audience chamber, we pass 
through an outer apartment, we stand in the presence of Slim 
Lim, Lord of the Peacock Feather ! 

Slim Lim was at home. 

He was seated in the centre of the spacious apartment, sip- 
ping a cup of very fragrant tea, the aroma of which was so fas- 
cinating that I paused and inhaled it with all the gusto of a 
fine taster. 

Two ladies, clad in robes of great beauty and richness, were 
busy brewing tea and spreading before the Lord Taou-tai an 
infinite number of delicate viands and toothsome tid bits. 

But he ate nothing. 

He was evidently somewhat disturbed by my sudden appear- 
ance, and I could see that one thought, to the exclusion of all 
others, was occupying his mind. It was : “ How did this 
stranger pass the guards ? True he is small ; but if he can calmly 
walk into my apartment why may not an evil-disposed person 
do like- wise ? ” 

Determined to convince Slim Lim and the ladies of his house- 
hold of my noble lineage and refined manners, I kowtowed with 
all the grace of a veteran courtier, and began the enumeration of 
their various virtues, excellencies, and charms of body and 
mind. When I had reached number one hundred and seventeen, 
the victory was complete. 

They smiled. 

But Slim Lim remained obdurate. He gazed into vacancy 
for several moments and then pretended to fall asleep. 



I recited the purpose of my visit and waited patiently for the 
Lord of the Peacock Feather to deign to reply. 

He did so at last ; hut without opening his eyes, speaking as if 
half in a dream : 

“ Barbarian, son of a barbarian, grandson of a barbarian, 
great-grandson of a barbarian, great-great-grandson of a bar- 
barian, great-great-great-grandson of a barbarian ” 

Well knowing that this was a mere ruse to waste the night 
in words, I resolved to put an end to it atjonce. 

I sat down and interrupted Slim Lim’s long and dreary list 
by pretending to snore with that regularity which proves the 
accomplished sleeper. 

He came to a sudden halt. 

A deep silence now settled upon the scene, only broken by 
the nervous rattle of the ladies’ fans. 

Slim Lim now began to realize that he had no ordinary mortal 
before him. 

For the first time he looked me squarely in the face. 

The ladies grew alarmed at the dark cloud gathering on the 
brow of their liege lord, and withdrew to the other end of the 

The Taou-tai was now wide awake. 

So was I ! 

“ Bold, thoughtless, and ill-counselled stranger,” he cried out, 
“by the decree of the Child of the Sun, him of the Sacred 
Countenance, it is not lawful to punish a rash petitioner like 
thee, provided his prayer be one that may be granted. But 
what thou askest is impossible, for at this hour there is neither 
paper, ink nor brush within the palace ! Thou must suffer for 
thy rash conduct. Thou hast been cunning enough to pass the 
guards in coming hither : but already a score of pikes are 
leveled at thy breast. Escape is impossible. Prepare for deatli 
or imprisonment in dungeon cell which knows neither light 
nor warmth ! ” 

To speak the truth, my legs bent beneath the weight of my 
body as these cruel words made clear to me the danger I was in. 

I could see that tears had gathered in the eyes of the two 
gracious ladies, standing near me. 



“ Paper — ink — brush ! ” I murmured, half dazed, “ brush — 
paper — ink — or death ! ” 

“ It must not be ! ” I glanced about me. I closed my eyes. 
I fixed my gaze on Bulger, but all in vain — no help came to me. 

A cold perspiration stood on my brow. 

Suddenly, a huge parrot which was perched on a bamboo 
cage at one end of the room, uttered a harsh cry. 

Quicker than it takes to tell it, I called Bulger to my side and 
set him teasing the bird. 

He was not averse to enter upon the sport. 

When it was well under way, I approached the bird from the 
rear, and as he bent forward to repel Bulger’s familiarity, I 
deftly laid hold of one of his longest tail-feathers and pulled it 
out. An ear-splitting yell went up, and the two ladies threw 
themselves towards their pet with a thousand tearful expres- 
sions of pity and endearment. 

I now turned my attentions to Slim Lim. 

Drawing a pair of tiny shears from my pocket, I caught at 
the end of his cue and snipped off an inch of it. 

My audacity struck him dumb. He could only stare at me 
with wide opened mouth. 

I set to work now in good earnest. 

Drawing some silk threads from my sleeve, I fitted the hair 
into the quill with such nimble, cunning fingers that Slim Lim 
looked on quite awe-struck. 

“ The brush is ready, Lord of the Peacock Feather ! ” I cried, 
laying it down in front of him. “ And the paper too ! ” I con- 
tinued, drawing out a paper mat from under a curio and turn- 
ing up the white underside. 

He followed my movements as a child would those of a necro- 

Ink now was only lacking ! 

With one of my most winning smiles I drew near the ladies, 
and thus addressed them : 

“Fasten forever the images of your beautiful faces upon 
the pages of my memory by lending me the jar of ebon pigment 
with which you add lustre to those matchless arches that shade 
your eyes ! ” 



They returned my smile with entrancing grace and sweet- 
ness. But what was more pleasing still, they granted my 

Halting for a moment at the cage of my friend, the parrot, 
who ruffled his feathers and eyed me most suspiciously, to 
moisten the pigment from his drinking vessel, I then strode 
wdth an air of triumph back to the table where Slim Lim sat 
nervously fanning himself, and said : 

“ Most noble Lord of the Peacock Feathei r , thy dull-witted, 
misshapen and worthless slave hath prepared brush, ink and 
paper ; deign to set thy most honorable sign-manual to this 
paper so that he may withdraw his poor, miserable body and 
limbs from beneath thy sacred roof !” 

So saying, I held out the brush to Slim Lim. 

With trembling hand he took hold of it and rapidly traced 
the mysterious characters which were destined to open every 
gate and unbar every door until I stood once more on shipboard 
bound for my native land. 

Folding up the precious document, I thrust it into my sailor’s 
pouch. But while I was flushed with victory, Slim Lim showed 
only too plainly that he was nearly beside himself with chagrin 
and vexation. 

The ladies of his household approached him with most pro- 
found obeisances and with loud and deep-drawn sighs at every 
step. But Slim Lim repulsed them in the rudest manner. He 
would have none of their sympathy, none of their pity or 
tender offices. 

They redoubled their efforts ; their sighs became more ten- 
der and louder. 

It was all in vain. 

Slim Lim was determined not to be propitiated. 

Turning to me, he cried out : 

“ Let the barbarian, the son of a barbarian, the grandson of 
a barbarian, the great-grandson of a barbarian, the great-great- 
grandson of a barbarian, the geat-great-great-grandson of a 
barbarian, the great-great-great-great-grandson of a barbarian 
inscribe his wretched, worthless, mean, common, ordinary, 
insignificant and despicable name upon a sheet of paper ere he 

25 C) 


goes forth, so that I and mv children, and my children’s chil- 
dren, and my children’s children’s children, and my children’s 
children’s children’s children may speak it with contempt ! ” 

And then, in order to prove to me that he considered himself 
disgraced to sit in my presence, he threw himself full length 
upon the floor. 

Bulger got it into his head that this strange proceeding was 
in some way a menace to me, for he walked cautiously around 
Slim Lim, sniffing at him and growling in a threatening way, 
as if to say: “Don’t play any tricks on my little master, or 
it will go hard with you ! ” 

The ladies of Slim Lim’s household were nearly crazed with 
grief and anxiety. 

I assured them of my protection, but this only seemed to 
increase their solicitation. 

To tell the truth, however, I was not half so calm as I appeared 
to be. 

Cruel fate seemed to have woven her meshes about me once 

Slim Lim, with deep cunning, had set another task for me 
which seemed so impossible of performance that he doubtless 
was already congratulating himself and applauding his own 
skilfully devised plan for holding me prisoner. 

He had demanded that I should “write my name” before 
going forth ; he had been most careful to use the word “ write ” 
so that I should not be permitted to use a brush after the man- 
ner of his people ; but must have recourse to a pen after the 
manner of my own. 

Feeling pretty confident in his mind that I would not have a 
pen in my possession, he had ground for flattering himself that 
I was still in his power. 

Bulger caught a glimpse of the shadow that had settled upon 
my face, and whined nervously, 

A thought struck me ! 

A quill will save me ! 

I looked towards the parrot. 

Ah ! deep-laid plan to rob me of my liberty ! 






The bird had been removed from the room. 

The brush I had fashioned — the pigment, too, were gone ! 

I could feel my knees grow weak. 

My breath came short and quick. 

A cold chill crept over me. 

There lay the Lord of the Peacock Feather flat on his back, 
but as I turned my glance quickly upon him, I was sure that 
one of his eyes was half open and fixed upon me, while a faint 
ripple of a smile played in the corners of his mouth most mali- 

“ Ah ! man of guile ! ” thought I, “ thou shalt not triumph, 
for I am about to shatter this last one of thy fetters, which 
thou dost think is already so firmly riveted upon my wrists. 
Thou art wise and thou art subtle, but not so wise and not so 
subtle as the little baron who stands beside thee ! ” 

“ To me, Bulger ! ” I cried. 

With a single bound he reached my side. 

“ Take thy place there ! ” I continued, pointing to Slim Lirn’s 
breast, “ and if my enemy moves but the poor space of a narrow 
inch, do thy duty ! ” 

Bulger sprang lightly upon Slim Lim’s breast, and with a 
low growl gave him to understand that there must be no trifling. 

Then my turn came to act. 

Whipping my pocket-knife out, I laid hold of Slim Lim’s 
hand, and in less than a minute’s time I cut a fine pen, with an 
excellent nib, on the end of the long nail of his little finger. 

Bulger looked on very much interested, giving a low growl 
every time Slim Lim showed the slightest indication of resent- 
ing the treatment to which 1 was subjecting him. 

My ink? 

That was a simple matter. Pricking my thumb with the 
point of my knife, I let a few drops of the crimson fluid collect 
on the palm of my hand. Then, reaching out for one of the 
paper mats, I dipped the pen which now graced the little finger 
of the Lord of the Peacock Feather, and set my signature on 
the uncolored side of the mat in a neat, round hand. 

Bidding Bulger descend from his post of honor, I now held 
out my hand to his excellency, the Taou-tai, with these words : 



“ Rise, Sir Knight of the Plain Red Button ; be generous as 
thou art noble ; I have triumphed ! Forgive my audacity. In 
my place, thou wouldst have done likewise. Let thy enemy 
become thy friend. In birth, noble ; in letters, learned ; in 
arts, skilled ; he is more worthy of thy friendship than deserv- 
ing of thy enmity!” 

Slim Lim seized my hand, and sprang to his feet with a good- 
humored smile on his broad face. 

“By the sacred countenance of the Child of the Sun, Lord 
of all the Orders, thou art very clever for thy size ! ” he 
exclaimed, as he conducted me to a seat. 

The ladies of the Taou-tai’s household, who had retreated 
horror-stricken to their apartments, were now summoned to 

Tea was brewed and the Lord of the Peacock Feather insisted 
upon serving me with his own hands. 

I was almost crazed with joy at thought of setting out for 
home under such happy auspices. 

Bulger made friends with Slim Lim, and everybody forgave 

His excellency, the Taou-tai, prevailed upon me to pass the 
night under his roof, assuring me that in the morning I should 
have a special escort, his own port-chaise, and hampers packed 
in his own kitchen for my refreshment while on my joureny to 
the seaport. 

Until a late hour Slim Lim, the ladies of his household, Bulger 
and I gave ourselves up to feasting and merrymaking. In the 
morning I took my leave of the Taou-tai and his household in 
the happiest frame of mind. 

A short week found me on board of a good staunch vessel 
bound for home again. 

As the sails filled and we sped out of the harbor, I drew Bulger 
to my breast and the tears fell thick and fast. He licked my 
hands and face, and fixed his large, lustrous eyes full upon me. 

He could not, and I would not, speak. 




How I grew weary of travel and resolved to settle down for a long rest* 
A quiet life however soon tires me, and I desire to set out again* 
Bulger’s opposition. How I deceived him. We take our departure* 
Encounter a terrible storm. Are shipwrecked on a beautiful Island. 
Made prisoners by the Round Bodies. Description of this strange 
people. We are condemned to die. Saved by Rola-Bola, the Round- 
body Princess. More about the strange beings. The Princess falls 
in love with me. Preparations for marriage. The ceremony on the 
Great Plain. The sudden storm. Consternation of the Round 
Bodies. I lash Bulger and myself to a platform. The storm-king 
catches up the wooden structure and bears it away. Transported to 
the main land on the wings of the wind. We are gently dropped in a 
grain field not a thousand miles from home. Our unspeakable joy. 

At this period of my life 1 
had firmly resolved to settle 
down and enjoy a good, long 

Bulger and I both needed 
it. We w r ere tired of strange 
sights, strange lands and 
strange people. 

“ Why should we not,” 
thought I, “enjoy our world- 
wide fame ? ” 

From the very ends of the 
earth, visitors flocked in 
thousands to my House Won- 
derful to see my treasures, my 
extraordinary curiosities, and 
above all, my remarkable dog, 
Bulger, the sole companion of 
my strange and eventful life, my guide, my friend, my coun- 
sellor, my all. Scarcely, however, w^ere the valleys green again 
after a long and bitterly cold winter — so cold in fact that I 
drank nothing but iced tea for full three months, as it was 
utterly impossible to carry the pot from the stove to the table 
quickly enough to prevent its freezing, — than my thoughts 




turned to the pleasures and dangers of a roving life, and I 
longed to he up and off again in quest of new adventures. 

As I roused myself from my reverie I found Bulger sitting 
at my feet with his kind, lustrous eyes fixed full upon 
my face. He had read my thoughts as correctly and easily as I 
might the words of a child’s primer, and as he saw that I was 
wide awake and in full possession of my faculties, he seized 
hold of my sleeve and whined most piteously. 

Dear, faithful animal ! Oh, that I ImxLheeded thy remon- 
strance ! 

But no, it was not to he. 

Unwilling to fret and worry good Bulger, I now resolved to 
make use of a faculty which had no place in his nature — namely 

When he was in my presence I pretended to he perfectly 
happy and contented, going about laughing, singing and danc- 
ing ; hut the very moment he had quitted the room I set to work 
making ready for another journey. 

At last all was ready. 

When Bulger entered the house and set eyes upon boxes and 
packages, he lifted his head and gave one long, dismal howl of 
entreaty $ hut seeing that my purpose was fixed, like a true and 
faithful servitor, he bounded to my side and licked my out- 
stretched hand, as much as to say : “ Thy road is my road, thy 
fate is my fate!” 

In a few hours we were on our way to the sea-hoard. 

My heart was light, my spirits buoyant and gay. 

“ What is life ? ” I cried. “ Am I a worm to vegetate in mold 
and darknss ? Nay ! I am a creature of intelligence, of mind, 
of soul ; the air, the sunlight, the boundless universe, are mine ; 
I will enjoy them.” 

Luckily I had not long to wait in the seaport, for a good, 
staunch vessel was nearly loaded. 

Learning that she was bound for the Southern ocean, I at 
once ordered my effects to he set on board, and before the new 
moon had lost its crescent I was on the high seas with my faith- 
ful Bulger by my side and a bounding heart beating joyful music 
in my breast. 



For a while all went well. 

Bulger seemed to have gotten over his strange presentiment 
of evil and romped about the deck w T ith all his old-time love of 
mirth and jollity. But upon me, however, after our good vessel 
was a few days out, there came a strange feeling never experi- 
enced before. 

In my dreams, light and darkness alternately oppressed me ; 
the one more dazzling than the electric flash, the other deeper 
than earthly night. 

Our seventh day out, at high noon, suddenly it seemed as if 
some mighty hand had drawn a vast and impenetrable curtain 
of inky blackness over the entire sky. It almost appeared as if 
some terrible demon of the skies had suddenly blown out the 
very sun itself. 

Bulger, with one bound, gained my side, and, fastening his 
teeth in my sash, moaned piteously, as was his custom when he 
thought my life in danger. I stooped and stroked his head. 
The palm of my hand felt the hot tears that were streaming 
from his eyes. Just then the vessel gave a lurch, and Bulger’s 
weight tore his teeth from their hold in my sash, and in an 
instant he was separated from me. I heard his supplicating 
bark in a distant part of the ship. 

“ Bulger ! Bulger ! ” I cried, “ here ! here ! this way, to me, to 
me ! ” and in my desperation at thought of losing my loved 
companion, I darted in the direction of the barking, regardless 
of the black night which enveloped us, and stumbling over 
some object fell headlong on the deck. 

My fall stunned me. 

I rose upon my elbow and passed my hand over my eyes like 
a person just waking from a deep sleep. 

Sulphurous flames now T darted from the four quarters of the 
heavens, and crash upon crash of deafening thunder rattled 
and pealed over our heads. 

A. terrific blast of wind caught up our ship like a cockle shell 
and hurled it along through the seething, bubbling, maddened 
waters at such a fearful rate that every instant it seemed as if 
she must go to the bottom. 



I know not how long we were driven along at this furious 
speed, for I was half dazed by the roar of the warring elements 
and blinded by the continuous flashing of the lightning. To my 
horror, the sound of terrible blows, dull but awful in their 
energy, now fell upon my ears. 

We had struck upon the rocks, and our ship was pounding- 
out her own life beneath my very feet. 

Instinctively I called upon my faithful Bulger. 

But not the voice of brazen throat and ljmgs could overcome 
the din of that tempest. 

The intense darkness was now dissipated by showers of mete- 
oric fire, which fell like ten times ten thousand bursting rockets 
as far as the eye could reach. And then deep rifts broke in the 
inky mantle of the heavens and showers of hail stones, each as 
large as a goose egg, rattled with the fury of musketry upon the 

At that moment a lurch of the vessel had rolled me under a 
huge copper kettle or my life would have been beaten out of 

“ Farewell, dear Bulger ! ” I cried, in a tear-strangled voice / 
“this terrible discharge from heaven’s frozen artillery will 
surely end thy life ! Farewell, faithful dog ; a long farewell ! ” 

Gradually this terrifying shower of huge hail-stones lessened 
its fury, and strange to say, in doing so the falling stones drew 
most wonderful music from the great copper kettle which 
covered me like a huge buckler. 

The wind moaned a deep bass and the pounding of the vessel 
kept time like some gigantic drum. 

Although half -dead with fear, I listened with ecstatic pleas- 
ure to this awful concert played by the warring* forces of nature. 
When it had ceased, I looked out from my hiding-place. 

Not a living soul was in sight. Every seaman and officer had 
perished beneath the strokes of the lightning, been crushed by 
the fall of hail, or swept by the resistless gale into the seething 

So calm did it grow that I was beginning to take heart, when 
with a terrific swish and whirr, as if slit by some gigantic knife, 



the clouds parted and from the rent rushed blinding drifts of 
snow with such a wild and startling sweep and whirl that my 
knees swote together and I fell upon my face in utter despair. 

But look ! Had heaven slain the monster of the storm ? 

The snow was blood-red. 

The sight froze the very marrow of my bones. 

I rolled over upon my back ; my senses fled ; death seemed 
to have overtaken me. 

How long I lay in this stupor I know not, but when I awoke 
the storm had spent its fury, the sun was sending down its 
brightest rays, the air was pleasantly cool and bracing. 

Slowly my strength came back to me, and I emerged from 
my hiding-place, crawling on my hands and feet, for I was too 
weak to stand upright at first. Little by little, however, I took 
heart, and, as I felt my blood go tingling thro’ my veins, I made 
an effort and rose to my feet. 

Yes, my worst fears had been realized. 

Not a living being had survived the storm. 

As I walked upon the blood-red snow, every foot-fall brought 
forth most piteous sighs and groans. 

“ What dread warning,” thought I, “ does this mysterious 
murmuring give me ? What is the meaning of these sobs and 
moans which issue from these crimson crystals beneath the 
pressure of my feet ? Am I walking upon the blood of my 
ancestors ? ” 

Clinging to the frozen sheets, I crept slowly along the red- 
encrusted deck. 

But stay ! 

Hark ! 

Are my ears playing me still more fantastic tricks ? 

No ! I’m wholly and entirely myself now, and as sure as 
the blood of the Trumps’ courses through my veins, that bark 
came from my faithful dog ! 

“ Bulger lives ! Bulger lives ! ” I cried out in accents of the 
wildest joy ; and breaking away from the hold of fear and 
trepidation, I rushed boldly forward, calling out “ I’m coming, 
Bulger, I’m coming!” With reckless courage I sprang from 



one frozen plank to another, until I stood upon the quarter- 
deck. There, upon the hatch, sat, or rather lay, Bulger, for 
his life was almost extinct. His teeth were locked upon the 
straps of a life-preserver which he, ever thoughtful of my 
safety, was about to bring to me at the first outbreak of the 
storm, when its fury forced him to seek refuge under a water- 
cask, as his tracks on the snow indicated. 

As quickly as my stiffened limbs would permit, I bounded 
forward, and throwing myself on my knees in the crimson snow, 
— which sent forth most heart-rending groans and sighs at the 
pressure of my body upon its blood-red surface — I clasped 
Bulger in my arms and our cries of joy mingled, — our tears ran 

All my suffering was forgotten in that moment, for Bulger 
was alive, his head was clasped to my breast. 

The winds had now fallen, the sea had grown calm again, 
and I determined at once to quit the wreck if possible, for the 
setting sun revealed to me the shores of a beautiful land at 
the mouth of a small but extremely picturesque river, whose 
banks were rich in palm-trees, fruit-trees and flowering shrubs. 

I lost no time in lowering one of the boats which had happily 
escaped with slight injuries, and being an expert seaman, I 
found no difficulty in rigging a tackle and lowering first, Bulger, 
and then myself into the boat, and paddling leisurely towards 
the shore. 

Here I drew the boat high and dry on the beach, and calling 
out gayly to faithful Bulger to follow me, I clambered up the 
bank and pushed boldly forward to survey the fair land upon 
which a strange fate had set our feet. 

Now, for the first, I became conscious of the terrible hunger 
that was gnawing at my vitals — a fact which proved to me that 
I must have lain in an unconscious state beneath the huge kettle 
for at least two days if not more. 

Bulger raised his kind eyes to me, and then bounding off to 
one of the fruit trees, ran around it, barking joyfully. 

I shook one of the branches and the ripe fruit fell in abun- 
dance to the ground. 

Its odor was so delicious that although it was unknown to 


me, I had no hesitation in partaking of it most freely, Bulger 
following my example, a fact which convinced me that it could 
not he otherwise than wholesome. A long, deep draught from a 
limpid spring refreshed us both greatly ; but as the sun was 
sinking rapidly, and as I now began to feel the effects of the 
rack, strain and weariness resulting from the terrible experience 
of the past day or so, I called out to Bulger : 

“ Come, dear, faithful fellow, let us seek out a fit place to pass 
the night ; some nook shielded by wide-spreading branches, 
where there is plentj^ of soft boughs to make a bed with. 

As the country was quite level, I sighted a grove at some dis- 
tance, and thither we directed our steps. 

It had now grown quite dark. We quickened our pace, for J 
was too prudent a traveler to care to expose myself to the night 

As we drew near the grove there appeared to be a low wall 
on one side of it. 

“This way, Bulger,” said I, “this long line of boulders w T ill 
protect us from the night winds, if any should rise. Let us 
creep under its edge and lay our tired limbs down on the soft 
grass.” He looked up with softened gaze and gave one or two 
consenting wags to his tail. 

Nestling close under the edges of several of the largest of the 
boulders, at a point where they formed a sort of sheltered nook, 
we soon fell into a deep sleep, I sitting half upright and Bulger 
pillowing his head upon my lap. 

Once or twice in the course of the night I awoke to find my 
brow beaded with perspiration. I put my hand on Bulger ; 
he too was awake, and his tongue was lolling from his mouth. 
Both of us seemed to have been seized with a strange fever. 
The direst forebodings took possession of me. Had w r e landed 
upon a shore along which lurked some deadly miasm ? Pos- 
sibly we might not live to see the light of another day. It 
required all my self-control to banish such terrible thoughts 
from my mind. But so tired was I to the very bone that I 
soon fell asleep again, reassured as I was by the example set 
me by Bulger. It was, however, a fitful slumber, for the heat 



of our bodies had now become so great that the very ground 
upon which we were lying felt warm to my touch. At length, 
to my joy, I caught the first, faint glimpse of the dawn. I was 
now in a perfect glow from head to foot. And so was Bulger. 
Suddenly it burst upon my mind that possibly we might have 
lain down in a volcanic region ; that, mayhap, fierce, subter- 
ranean fires were raging beneath our very heads. I rose to my 
knees with a bound, and placed both of my hands upon the 
nearest boulder. Fancy my horror upon- feeling that its sur- 
face was not only hot, but that it yielded to the pressure of 
my hands, and gave forth groans, hissings and rumblings. In 
an instant I was on my feet. Bulger did not wait to be called. 
Determined to verify my suspicions, — for discretion was 
always a reasonable part of my valor, I hastened from one 
boulder to another within the circle where we had been lying, 
and pressed my hands upon them with all my strength. Deep, 
rumbling and hissing sounds came forth from the ground every- 
where about me, and seemed to awaken responsive cries far 
and near, as if one giant tossing in his sleep disturbed the 
slumbers of his fellows. 

“ Bulger ! ” I cried, “ we stand upon the ground of death ; 
this is but the outer wall of a crater, it is aglow with subterra- 
nean heat ; only the merest shell — so thin that it yields to my 
pressure — is between us and destruction. Fly, fly, faithful 
dog ! ” 

The morning sun now burst forth with a flood of golden light. 

As far as my eye could reach, extended this same boulder-like 
parapet, shutting out my gaze from the abyss through which the 
volcano was now about to spout its liquid fire $ for all at once 
the boulders began to rock from side to side, giving forth such 
dreadful rumblings that I knew the eruption was to be pre- 
ceded by an earthquake. 

A sickening fear seized hold of me ; my legs bent like pipe 
stems, beneath the weight of my body. 

Bulger saw that his loved master was chained to the ground. 

He refused to abandon me. 

The whole wall, as far as my eye could reach, now trembled 
and rocked, threatening to engulf us every instant. 



With a mighty effort I pulled myself together, and, followed 
by Bulger, darted away. 

The measure of my horror was not complete. 

With terrific rumblings, gurglings, hissing and groaning, the 
whole row of rocks now danced in violent agitation, and then, 
like so many gigantic balls, rolled by huge monsters at play, 
these boulders, propelled with fearful violence by the outburst 
of the volcano — as I supposed — came thundering down after 
our retreating forms, threatening us with a terrible death. 

Bulger, running at my side, ever and anon sent out a mournful 
whine, as if to bid me an eternal farewell. 

“ Fly, Bulger ! Faster, faster, good Bulger ! ” I called to him, 
as the roar and rumble of the advancing wall increased. 

Now each and every boulder seemed urged on its course by 
some mysterious force of its own. 

As I glanced over my shoulder, 1 could see that they w^ere 
gaining in velocity, bounding, springing, now in single file, now 
three abreast, while the frightful and unearthly din and rumble 
went ever on increasing. 

They were gaining upon us. 

My legs again threatened to bend under the weight of my 
body and topple it over to certain and awful death, when a last 
glance revealed to me the terrible truth. 

“ Bulger ! they are alive ! ” 

A sharp, despairing yelp came from my poor dog. 

“ They’re alive, I tell you ! Some legion of monsters, devils, 
for aught I know, escaped from the depths of Tartarus, intent 
to roll over us and crush the life from our puny bodies ! ” 

Again we redoubled our efforts. 

“For your life, Bulger!” I gasped, “for your life! Look! 
the wood, the wood ' ” 

He caught my meaning, and gave a sharp, encouraging bark. 

But no, it was useless. 

My strength had been used to its last poor throb. 

It grew dark before my eyes. 

A palsying fear laid hold of my heart. 

My limbs stiffened. 






I threw one last glance upon Bulger. 

He answered me with a look of most tender affection, and 
then we both tripped, staggered, stumbled, fell headlong, side 
by side, while seemingly ten thousand living boulders, with 
awful shrieks, groans, and gurgling sounds, hung like a shadow 
over us for an instant, and all was black as night. 

I felt my protuberant brow ground into the earth and the 
last bit of life crushed out of me. 

My last though was : 

“ Bulger ! O, Bulger ! What a terrible death ! But O, what a 
kind Providence to let us die together ! ” 


“ Else ! stunted, misshapen tJhing ! Eise ! thou wafer man, thou 
slice of humanity with cleft edges ! ” 

It was not so much the thundering tones of this strange, 
human monster which caused me to sit bolt upright, rub my 
eyes and make a superhuman effort to collect my sadly scat- 
tered senses, as it was the caresses of my faithful Bulger, who 
was running from one side of me to the other, showering kisses 
upon my face and hands and whining piteously. 

After a hard struggle the shadows were lifted from my eyes. 
My heart sank within me at sight of that wall of living boulders 
encircling us, with their fierce visages turned, half in wonder, 
half in rage, upon the, to them, two funny beings as utterly 
unlike themselves as each other. 

But love is always stronger than fear. 

Stretching out my arms and drawing Bulger close to my 
breast, I cried out: 

“ O, Bulger ! do I really live ? Am I not still the object of 
some demon’s sportive malice?” 

At sound of my voice the round-bodied monsters broke out 
into a hideous chorus of deep, rumbling laughter, during which 
their bodies rolled from side to side. 

Then, as they pressed wildly forward, with fierce ejaculations 
of anger or impatience, it seemed as if Bulger and I had been 
only saved from one death to be set face to face with another. 



Alas ! is there no power,” thought I, “ to save us from the 
furious impatience of these reckless monsters ? ” 

Suddenly a terrible voice sounded loud above the din : 

“ Roll backward, Round bodies ! What meaneth this unseemly 
impatience in the presence of your King ? ” 

In an instant, the round-bodied monsters rolled silently back- 

All was calm again. 

Turning to his neighbor, the King exclaimed, with a gurgling 
laugh : 

“Why, by my royal girth, its voice is all the world like one of 
the toy pipes of our baby prince ! ” 

“ 4 Its ? Its ? ’ ” I repeated, with fire flashing from my up- 
turned eyes. “ Know, Sir Monster, that I am not a ‘ thing,’ but 
a perfect man ; a baron by birth, a scholar by profession, a 
traveler by choice.” 

At this outburst on my part, the crowd of living balls again 
sent up a deep, rumbling peel of laughter. 

“ Silence ! ” commanded the King, and then he continued : 

“Well, well, then, baron, — whatever that may be — but I 
think I ought to say 4 little baron,’ for by my royal roundness, 
thou art a wee, puny being ! Let it be as thou savest, but tell 
me, I implore thee, what is this walking box on four legs, which 
nature seems to have left unfinished?” 

And so saying, he raised his terrible hand with fingers strong 
enough to crush me as I might a puff-ball, and waved it toward 

This contemptuous sneer did not escape Bulger 

He broke out into a volume of sharp, angry barks, and showed 
his white teeth in the most threatening manner. 

Upon which the monsters rolled back in mock terror and con- 
sternation, crying out : 

“ The King ! The King ! Save the King ! The walking box 
is filled with explosives ; it may fly into pieces ! ” 

When the hubbub was over, and the King had commanded 
silence, I stepped boldly forward and exclaimed : 

“Unfinished! What meanest thou, thou globe-shaped mon- 
ster ? ” 


The term “ globe ” seemed to please his majesty very much. 

A great, wrinkled smile overran his huge countenance. 

“ Mean ?” he ejaculated, with a deep, gurgling, chuckling 
laugh. “ Mean ? why, little baron — whatever that may be — 
see for thyself. Has not Nature left useless flaps at one end 
of the box, and a still more useless bit of rope hanging down 
from the other ? ” 

This insulting allusion to Bulger’s ears and tail seemed to be 
perfectly understood by him, for he fairly bristled with rage, 
and advanced upon the round-bodied monster, snapping, snarl- 
ing, and showing his teeth. 

Whereupon the deep, rumbling laughter again broke forth, 
and the cry, “Save "the King! Save the King!” went up in 
mock earnestness. 

Having succeeded in appeasing Bulger’s anger by means of 
a few affectionate words and tender caresses, I determined to 
make inquiry as to our whereabouts, and to ascertain who the 
strange beings were among whom capricious fate had so uncer- 
emoniously cast Bulger and me. 

“ Where are we, ball-shaped giant ? ” I inquired in my strong- 
est voice, “ and who are you ? ” 

Again the monster screwed his leathery face up in a deep, 
wrinkled smile. The reason of his good will, as I afterwards 
learned, arose from the fact that I had bestowed the terms 
“globe,” “round,” “ball-shaped,” etc., upon him, for it seemed 
that these wonderfully formed beings were extremely vain of 
their roundness, and that nothing could be uttered more pleas- 
ing and complimentary to them than to make use of such words 
and expressions as “ ball,” “ orb,” “ sphere,” “ round-bodied,” 
“bullet-shaped,” etc.; that in their land, the greatest dignities 
honors and titles of nobilit3 T were awarded those whose bodies 
showed most perfect roundness ; that in proportion as one’s 
body deviated from the shape of a true sphere, he became 
degraded and excluded from society. 

To such wretched subjects the King assigned the performance 
of all mean labor. They were the “ squares,” or outcasts, whom 
anybody might insult or even enslave with impunity. The 



richer ones were sometimes able to hide their deformity by 
means of padding, and in this manner conceal their uneven 
motion in rolling from the keen eyes of the King ; but the poor 
ones, by their inability to correct their physical defects, at 
once attracted the King’s attention, when he caused his people 
to roll up and down before him, while he kept up a searching 
look-out for “wabblers” or uneven rollers. 

“ Well, little baron — whatever that may bp,” replied the King, 
or shall I call thee Wafer-man with cleft edges? Know, then, 
that I am King Bo-goo-goo, Monarch of the Roundbodies ; that 
these are some of my subjects. 

Know, furthermore, little baron — whatever that may be — 
that this island is my kingdom, in which no one rules saving 
me, and that unless it may please my royal daughter Rola-Bola 
to keep thee and thy attendant, the walking box with cord and 
flaps, as curiosities to amuse her, thou and thy companion per- 
ish at sundown, for, little baron — whatever that may be — it is 
my royal will, and so it was my father’s, and his father’s, and 
so back a thousand years, that no living creature shall set foot 
upon the shores of my domain and not pay for his temerity by 
being crushed to death, literally ground into the soil, until he 
become a very part of it ! ” 

Bulger appeared to grasp the meaning of this fierce speech, 
which was delivered in thundering tones, and accompanied by 
hideous contortions of the speaker’s great, round visage, flaming 
as the crimson disc of a tropical sun in the western sky, and 
followed by an outburst of grunts, groans and gurglings from 
the assembled Roundbodies ; and, in spite of his inborn courage, 
his tail fell between his legs and he slunk nearer to me with a 
low, anxious whine. 

But when good Bulger saw the calm expression of my coun- 
tenance, he quickly recovered himself ; his tail resumed its 
graceful curl, and as I faced King Bo-goo-gbo with an unruffled 
exterior, to make reply to the latter's horrible threat, Bulger, 
too, placed himself at my side with a defiant air. 

“ Most gracious Sphere! Most royal Globe! Roundest mon- 
arch of the great, round world ! true, I have set foot on the 



shores of thy domain, but it was not, most majestic Sphericity, 
through choice. A fearful storm, in which the warring ele- 
ments seemed bent upon the destruction of the universe, during 
which the great ocean hurled itself against the walls of heaven 
as if to beat out the very stars, while the wide-mouthed gale 
swooped down upon this petty earth with seeming intent to 
swallow it and all it contained — ” 

I could speak no further. 

The Roundbodies broke in upon me with such dismal groans 
and cries that I stood as if rooted to the earth. 

“ Ah !” thought I, “ they, too, felt the terrible blows of that 
storm-demon which so nearly beat out the life from mine and 
from Bulger's bodies !” 

Waving my hand as a signal for silence, I proceeded : 

“ I bow before the will of thy spherical Majesty, whatever 
it may be ! At the same time, I would beg to call the attention 
of your Imperial Roundness to the fact that, in the systems o 
law of all the nations of the globe, a man may not be held 
responsible for an act which he is made to commit by a force 
or strength greater than his own.” 

1 saw th atmy flattery was telling upon King Bo-goo-goo, so 
I proceeded to make a still further application of the same 
remedy : 

“ However, most Royal Globe and perfect Sphere of Strength 
and Beauty, if, in thy great wisdom, thou dost decide that we 
must die, crushed beneath the weight of thy people’s bodies, 
so be it ! Great ball-shaped monarch, I am but a bit and shred 
of humanity, and how may I dare to oppose the will of your 
right royal Sphericity?” 

King Bo-goo-goo smiled till his huge double teeth could be 
seen glittering in his cavernous mouth, like white rocks in a 
half -lighted pit, and his body swayed from one side to another 
in his gigantic glee. 

“ Send for the royal princess ! ” he roared. 

In a few seconds, in answer to his command, a Roundbody 
came rolling across the pFain with the swiftness of the 



The crowd of retainers fell back, and the new-comer arrested 
her flight by the side of King Bo-goo-goo. 

I could not see that she was a bit more beautiful than those 
about her, although she was a royal princess. 

True, she was a globe of smaller girth, her face was somewhat 
less repellent and beneath a long and heavy fringe of lashes, 
I caught glimpses of a pair of good-natured, roguish eyes, and 
my perfect knowledge of human and brut§ nature told me at 
a glance that if I could but gain the good' will of that strange 
being, Bulger and I would be safe ! 

u My dear, little round papa,” cried Rola-Bola — for such 
proved to be her name, “ Where did those funny things come 
from ? Are they really alive ? Wont they bite or sting ? 
What do they eat ? What shall I keep them in ? Will you 
make me a cage for them ? Oh, I am so, so, so, so, so, so, so, 
so, so glad ! ” and she bounded about, now this way, now that, 
now into the air like an animated rubber ball, drumming like 
a partridge all the while. 

Behold us, then, Bulger and me, prisoners in the land of the 
Roundbodies, with the Princess Rola-Bola as our keeper ! 

Hope sank low within our poor hearts. 

I dared not breathe a word in opposition to the will of King 
Bo-goo-goo or the caprice of Rola-Bola lest the order should be 

At least, in the keeping of the Princess Rola-Bola, we would 
be more likely to receive gentle treatment, and, what was ahnost 
a matter of life and death, we should have great chances of 
making our escape from the island of King Bo-goo-goo. 

We were commanded to follow the Princess. . 

As Bulger and I started after Rola-Bola, with a brisk gait, 
the very clouds fairly snapt asunder, so great was the shout of 
laughter which the Roundbodies sent up. 

Seemingly, it had not occurred to them until that moment 
how ridiculously different our mode of locomotion was from 

“ Look ! look ! O, King ! ” they cried, “ he can neither roll nor 
hop ! See how he edges along, leaning first on one foot and 



then on the other ! He walks on his toe nails ! Mark his com- 
panion, too ! What monsters of clumsiness ! How they rock 
and wabble ! Why doth he not spring ? Why doth he pound 
the earth as if he were beating flax ? ” 

To all this mocking and jeering, Bulger and I turned a deaf 
ear, following our mistress, who ever and anon, turned her soft, 
black, mischievous eyes encouragingly upon us, as her head 
came uppermost. 

Imagine our surprise when Rola-Bola halted at the beginning 
of a path having a gentle descent, and said : 

“ This is the entrance to the royal habitation. Follow me and 
fear nothing.” 

In a few moments we found ourselves in the outer room of a 
vast underground dwelling, consisting of corridors, chambers, 
dormitories, banquet-halls and arenas. 

All the habitations of the Roundbodies are subterranean. 


This you shall know anon. 

Bulger and I were conducted to very pleasant quarters — well- 
lighted, as were all the rooms of the palace, by means of vast 
slabs of rock crystal, of which the roof was made, by a 
u square ” or u lob-bo ” as he is called in the language of the 
Roundbodies, that is, one not perfectly round in form, and 
hence degraded to the position of serving man. Doubtless, long 
before this, the reader has grown impatient at my silence con- 
cerning the strange beings among whom Bulger and I now 
found ourselves prisoners. 

Who were the Roundbodies ? 

Know then, gentle reader, that they were — mark well my 
words — the sole living creatures on the island of Gd-gu-lah, 
upon which a strange fate had cast us. Whether or not any 
other beings had ever inhabited the island was unknown to 

I found, upon conversing with their learned men, that there 
was a legend in existence among them — dim and shadowy in its 
details, from the long flight of centuries that it had come down 
through — that many thousands of years ago they had been 



quite like human beings, who walk upright, with bodies almost, 
ii not quite, as long as mine; but that owing to the unvarying 
recurrence of terrible storms, of wind, rain, hail and snow, 
accompanied by the bursting of deafening thunderbolts, in fact, 
such as I had experienced, which swept over the island twelve 
times in the year, coming and going with a regularity as aston- 
ishing as their force is terrific, everything upright had long ago 
been swept from the land ; that their ancestors, yielding to the 
irresistible forces of Nature, had gradually bent their bodies 
before these resistless winds, until even the time when they 
walked upright had been forgotten. 

This was but the first change wrought by the forces which 
surrounded them. When overtaken by these wild winds, they 
soon learned that their only safety lay in rolling themselves up 
as much into the shape of balls as possible, so that the tornado 
would be powerless to pick them up and hurl them to destruc- 

Another transformation now began to make itself apparent. 

Their bodies, as centuries came and went, little by little, took 
on the rounded form they then had. 

Still clinging to the desperate chance for life on these storm- 
swept plains, they drew down their heads and pressed in their 
limbs until these had made recesses for them, as some tortoises 
draw their legs so closely to their bodies that the eye fails to 
distinguish even the outline of the limb. 

The last change that came upon these globe-shaped people 
wa s a very natural one : their arms took on a greater develop- 
ment of superhuman strength, while their legs grew shorter 
and shorter, until they consisted of little more than two broad, 
flexible feet, which they made use of mainly to propel their 
round bodies like hugh balls across the vast plains of their 
island home. 

Now, while they still dread the terrible blasts, yet is it rather 
an i idler ited fear, for at last they have become the true children 
of the gale. 

If it should happen to blow in the direction of their homes, 
they simply allow it to help them on their way by rolling them 



across the plain. While, now ancl then, a lob-bo, or u square 77 
Roundbody, so to speak, would be blown into the ocean, yet for 
nearly a century not a single, genuine Roundbody had been 
caught up in the pitiless blast. As well might the wind attempt 
to pick up the round stones of the ocean strand. 

One of the things which early attracted my attention in King 
Bd-go6-gdo 7 s palace, was the hangings, apparently of the softest 
leather, worked in mosaic patterns of transcendent beauty. 

Imagine my surprise when told by the gentle princess Rola 
Bola that they were simply the natural leaves from the various 
trees growing on the island, untouched by dye or stain of any 

They were so tough that my strength sufficed not to tear one 
in two. 

Noticing my wide-opened eyes turned inquiringly upon her, 
the gentle Rola-Bola cried out with a soft, low gurgle: 

u Go into the royal garden, Too-too-lo ; that is, little i flute- 
man, 7 and see for thyself. 77 

Now, for the first, I learned the secret of the presence of 
such beautiful trees and shrubs upon this storm-swept land. 
Every leaf was as thick and as strong as leather, and the trunks 
and boughs were exactly of the nature of India rubber, so that, 
with a small bit which I brought home with me in one of my 
pockets, I could erase pencil-marks with the greatest ease. 

To such foliage as this a tornado had no terrors. 

When the storm struck these trees they went to the ground, 
until it had spent its fury. In a few hours the tropical sun 
lifted them again, and the beauty of their foliage was quite 

To return to the poor princess Rola-Bola : 

Bulger began to fret and worry beneath the strain of our 

I was constantly on the alert for a chance to escape, but none 
offered. In fact, we were, I began to fear, prisoners for life. 

True, it was a pleasant captivity, for the gentle Rola-Bola 
almost killed us with dainty feeding, and our only toil was danc- 
ing, singing and capering for her amusement. 

Night and day, the sole gateway of the royal habitation was 


271 ) 

guarded by a triple row of round-bodied sentinels, so fierce- 
visaged, so mighty-handed, that my heart grew sick as I gazed 
upon them. 

To add to my despair, I now made a discovery which seemed 
to seal my fate forever — the princess Kola-Bola had become 
enamored of me ! 

What to me, at first, had seemed but a playful trick, to wit, 
her pinching my little toe ever and anon, had, as I was casually 
informed by one of the learned Roundbodies, in the course of 
a discussion with him, a terrible significance. 

It was a solemn declaration of love ! 

Oh ! miserable me ! 

And a declaration, too, which, coming from a woman to a 
man, it was certain, sure, inevitable death to ignore ! 

And yet I might be saved ! 

For the custom — made sacred by the observance of long ages 
— required the man to pursue the woman, who pretended to be 
frightened and extremely solicitous of escaping him, and while 
revolving with the same velocity as she, to pinch her little toe 
in return. 

This ended the matter. 

The couple was now betrothed. 

It was not in the power of man to publish bans of greater 

If the man gave one pinch, the marriage was solemnized the 
following day ; if two, the second day after, and so on. 

But I was not a Roundbody ! 

How could I possibly comply with the ancient- custom of the 

Ah ! Woman ! Woman ! it matters not whether thou belong- 
est to the Koundbodies or to the Longbodies, in affairs of the 
heart thy ingenuity and subtlety overmatch the philosophy of 
man ! 

When it was made known to the princess Rola-Bola that the 
royal counselors had, after mature deliberation, reached the 
conclusion that the laws of the land — made sacred by the 
observance of ages — forbade any such union contemplated by 



her, she flew into a towering or, rather, I should call it, a bound- 
ing passion, for, from one end of her spacious salon to the other, 
sidewise and lengthwise, she bounded about like a great ball 
bouncing under the play of an invisible bat. 

Alternately she wept, laughed, scolded and threatened. 

But it made little difference how she began her tirades, they 
all had the same ending : 

u I say, I shall marry T66-to6-lo ! w 

King Bo-god-god, thinking to pacify his daughter, sent her 
messengers bearing the most beautiful presents ; but she 
received them with disdain, scattering them on the floor. 

Things went on this w r ay for several days. 

King Bd-gdd-god was horrified to find that the princess had 
eaten nothing for forty -eight hours, and that she was actually 
losing her beautifully round shape, for which she had so justly 
been famous. 

Bulger saw plainly that something awful was going on, 
and he, too, became so worked up that he refused to eat or drink. 

I passed most of my time going from his room to the princess 
Rola-Bola’s, endeavoring to persuade them to take food. 

But all in vain. 

One morning the King’s daughter met me with demonstra- 
tions of the wildest delight, laughing, singing, bounding and 
rolling about like mad. So beside herself was she that, forget- 
ting her great weight and my puny build, she rolled against me 
and sent me flying like a little ten-pin struck by a monstrous 

By actual measurement I was thrown thirty feet, but, fortu- 
nately, struck against a heavy hanging which broke my fall. 

Bulger gave a piteous howl. 

He seemed to get an idea that Rola-Bola had struck me pur- 

Well, in a word, the cause of this frantic joy was simply this : 
The princess had finally thought out a solution to the terrible 
problem which had been for weeks torturing her mind. 

Briefly stated, it was as follows : 

I should be placed in the boughs of a tree just high enough 



to clear her body. She then was to roll under me, and at the 
right moment, I was to lean downward and pinch her little toe 
when it came uppermost. 

In vain I assured her that I should grow dizzy and fall head- 
long to the ground, breaking my neck, or, at very least, dislo- 
cating it. n 

But no, I need have no fear. 

She would watch over me. 

She would turn and catch me in time." 

The royal counsellors were at once called together. 

The plan of the princess Rola-Bola was laid before them. 

At first thy sent up a deep and ominous rumble of disagree- 

But Rola-Bola’s messengers were at hand with most costly 
presents, and it all ended in their finding an almost similar case 
in their books, where a wounded prince, who was quite unable 
to roll an inch, had been placed upon an elevated platform in 
order that his round-bodied sweetheart might pass beneath and 
he be enabled to pinch her little toe while it was in the air at 
the highest point from the ground. 

Seeing that it would be useless to make further opposition, 
i now submitted with a good grace, for it was plain to me that 
once the husband of the princess Rola-Bola I should become, 
to a certain extent, one of the family and be accorded greater 
liberty, by means of which I confidently hoped to make my 
escape from the land of the Roundbodies. 

Preparations for the marriage were now begun with extra- 
ordinary haste, in order to have all things ready for the first 
feast-day in the calendar. 

As the time drew near, however, I somewhat lost my courage. 

“ Was I not,” I asked myself, “ simply lending my aid in forg- 
ing my own fetters, in laying chains upon my neck, which would 
render it impossible for Bulger and me ever to set eyes again 
upon our beloved home ? ” 

I became very nervous, and found it impossible to catch a 
wink of sleep. 

At last I resolved to postpone my fate, at least for several 



And this was my scheme : — 

I should explain to the fair 1151 a Bola how utterly impossible 
it would be ior me, in my fright and anxiety, to get my thumb 
and finger upon her little toe at all, as she revolved swiftly 
beneath me. 

I therefore would implore her to roll very slowly. 

And then my scheme would be to seize her foot, hold it fast, 
and pinch the little toe a score of times at least ! 

Each pinch would be a clear gain of a day ! 

Our wedding-day dawned at last. 

The King’s wine was dealt out to the people with liberal hand. 

Mirth and gayety resounded on all sides. 

The skies were one vast expanse of cloudless blue. 

The flowering shrubs breathed out the most delightful odors. 

The air was deliciously balmy. 

The painted foliage hung in graceful festoons, unmoved by 
even a breath of air. 

To his evident disgust, Bulger was decorated with a neck- 
lace of leaf mosaic of most delicate workmanship. 

Had I not reproved him with a shake of the head, he would 
quickly have shaken off this useless adornment. 

Vast crowds of the Roundbodies covered the plain as far as 
the eye could reach. v 

Children rolled in troops after their parents, like marbles 
chasing up a cannon ball. 

At times I observed that the mothers, in order to amuse their 
little ones, or to quell some discussion which had broken out 
among them, halted by the wayside, and catching up three or 
four of them, tossed them into the air as a juggler does his 
balls, sometimes keeping three or more of them on the fly and 
one in each hand. 

It was a strange sight, and amused me so much that I quite 
insisted upon halting the wedding procession in order that I 
might observe it more closely. 

But the fair Rola-Bola was very impatient, and chided me in 
unmeasured terms for my lack of dignity. 

In fact, I now began to notice a very evident desire on the 



part of the managers of the wedding arrangements to hurry 
things up. 

King Bo-goo-goo ever and anon turned an anxious eye toward 
the horizon. 

And then there would follow a whispered consultation with 
the soothsayers and magicians. 

Behold me at last mounted upon my — scaffold, I had almost 
said — for such it seemed to be. 

A terrible, tightening sensation took hold of my heart. 

The air seemed too heavy to breathe. 

I gasped like a fish thrown up on dry land. 

“Let the marriage ceremony begin this instant, and move 
apace ! ” roared Bo-goo-goo. 

u Make ready, To6-to6-lo ! 79 cried one of the royal councillors. 

I turned to survey the multitude, and then prostrated myself 
upon the platform under which the princess Rola-Bola was to 

“ She has started ! She comes like the wind ! She is here ! ” 
Such were the cries which arose from the vast multitude. 

With head and shoulders thrust through the opening in the 
platform, I awaited my bride with bated breath and thumping 

Imagine my amazement when I saw her flash beneath me 
and disappear in the crowd of Roundbodies, almost like a ball 
from a cannon. 

I had scarcely felt her body as it had rolled beneath me. 

As for pinching her toe, that was certainly out of the ques- 
tion, seeing that I had only caught a hurried glimpse of her 
white feet, and then all was gone ! 

In an instant I was on my legs, and, advancing to the edge of 
the platform, I raised my hand to signify to King Bo-goo-goo 
that I desired to be heard : 

“ O, King with the globe-shaped body, hearken unto me ! I 
have been wronged ! There is vile treachery here ! The judges 
of the land of G6-gfi-lah have been corrupted ! I demand their 
blood ! Not only have I not pinched the little toe of the royal 
princess Rola-Bola, but I — ” 



At this instant, a deep, rumbling noise like a burst of distant 
artillery, cut short my harangue, by setting the air into such 
violent vibration that my lips moved without making the slight- 
est sound. 

The effect of this terrific “ boom ” upon the Roundbodies 
was astounding. 

The wildest confusion came upon them. 

In vain did King Bo-goo-goo command silence. 

They rocked like the waves of the sea Avhen struck by a sudden 

The most deafening groans and sighs rolled over the plains in 
a sort of half tuneful unison. Their faces blanched and they 
pressed together in the most abject fear. 

At last King Bo-god-goo was himself again, and, wtli a teri- 
rific voice, awed his people into silence, crying out : 

u Ughgo ! Raiilag j>ad Oiiistimgar ! ?? (My people, the storm 
is upon us ! Protect yourselves !) 

More quickly than it takes me to tell it, the dreaded roar 
broke in upon the stilly air. 

The Roundbodies gathered their children and aged people 
into a group, and then formed double and triple walls about 

u Tdo-too-lo ! Tdo-too-lo ! v 

It was Rola-Bola’s voice. 

But other thoughts were in my mind at this dread moment. 

Again it sounded forth in most piteous accents : 

u Too-too-lo ! Tdo-too-lo ! v 

To that voice, now, the ears of the dead would have given 
more heed than mine ! 

The storm-fiend was galloping amain. 

Quicker than thought I swung myself down from the plat- 
form, and, encircling Bulger with my left arm, made my way 
back again. 

The good dog was delighted to be with me again, although 
he was trembling like an aspen leaf at the distant sound of the 

He well knew what was coming. 



But look ! The sunlight is gone ! 

The very air seems affrighted. 

A terrifying tremor of the ground beneath us causes the 
soles of our feet to tingle and prickle. 

u Too-too-lo ! Too-too-lo ! n 

It was Rola-Bola calling her lover away from the impending 
death with which the storm-cloud was fraught. 

He was busy with one dearer to him than the weeping prin- 
cess of the Roundbodies. 

Happily the platform had been constructed by lashing 
together the uprights and flooring by means of hempen cords. 
To loosen one of these and bind Bulger and myself securely to 
the wooden structure was the work of a moment. 

The Roundbodies had followed my movements in silence, 
fairly stricken dumb with amazement at what seemed to them 
the work of a madman. 

When they could find their tongues, they motioned to me 
fiercely to leave the platform, crying : 

u Poo-ddeg! Poo-ddeg” (What madness ! What madness. ! ) 

But I was not mad ! 

What is death but a thought ? 

One may live and yet be dead ! 

Look ! the terrible storm-king is coming ! He is a greater 
monarch than thou, O mighty Bo-goo-goo ! 

u Too-too-lo ! Too-too-lo ! ” 

it was the kind, good Rola-Bola’s last farewell ! 

From that moment the roar of the coming gale drowned 
every sound of earth or its puny creatures. 

Look again ! See the black monster, how he draws nearer 
and nearer, his huge, shapeless, terrible body rolling and sway- 
ing as he rides along on his black wings, while, like a gigantic 
serpent, his tail drags over the fair earth, hissing, writhing 
and curling, now r on this side, now on that, now coiling upward 
to gather strength, now beating and threshing the plain with 
a roar mighty enough to plunge the stoutest heart into despair. 

Ah, Bulger ! It comes ! ’Tis here ! We move ! It lifts us ! 
Away! Away! We ride on the bosom of the gale! What 



a roar ! How dark ! How black ! The storm-king strangles 
me ! Bulger, I die — 


“ Where am I ? Ah, Bulger, good dog ! Has the princess 
called us yet ? 

King Bo-goo-goo comes to-day. 

We must amuse him!” 

I made an effort to rise. 

The cords held me down. 

By degrees the shadows lifted from my mind, and thoughts 
of the storm-king’s coming flashed through my brain, and how 
he had lifted the platform upon which we were bound, and 
borne it away, away, as if it were a feather caught up by the 
wind in play ! 

Something tickled my cheek. 

I raised my head. 

Oh ! joy unutterable ! It was grain ! Ay, golden grain I 

Wheat, ready for the sickle ! 

We are saved ! We must be near the habitations of man ! 

And so we were. 

Nay, more ; we were not a thousand miles away from home. 

Thus it was a mightier king than Bo-goo-goo, one to whom 
in my despair, I had appealed for aid, caught up my loved 
Bulger and me and bore us away from Go-gu-lah, the Land of 
the Roundbodies. 

And here I end my story. 







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